Southwestern Adventist University Hosts Annual Gala

Southwestern Adventist University Hosts Annual Gala

Tim Kosaka


Southwestern Adventist University hosted its annual student scholarship fundraising gala on September 23, 2019. The evening proceeds will reach in excess of $85,000. Held at the Van Cliburn Recital Hall in Fort Worth, the event was attended by nearly 200 guests and catered by University Chef Sualua Tupolo.


University President Ken Shaw reported on the highlights of the 2018-2019 academic year. He described the grand opening of their new nursing and administration building, and proudly noted that the NCLEX pass rate for nursing students was 94% and the Texas teacher pass rate was 100%. He reflected on the celebration of three communication faculty receiving Emmy awards and hosting a successful film festival for high school students.  He expressed his thanks to the many volunteers who reopened the Thomsen Observatory to the public and to the donors who helped in making the new bus and monument sign a reality.  Pictures of the renovated University radio station, KJRN, The Journey, were shown with special thanks to Texas Health Huguley Hospital.  


Shaw also bragged that the updated U.S. News & World Report rankings illustrated that the University ranked #11 among the Regional Colleges West, up from #13 last year.  The financial strength of the institution was shared by three metrics, one demonstrating an increase of days of cash in each of the last five years, a strong composite financial index of 6.7, and solid philanthropic giving of approximately $15,000,000 over the past 4 years.


Student leader, Aribelle Metzger, described her decision to attend Southwestern Adventist University.  Initially she had planned to explore other colleges but immediately changed her mind when she toured the campus and experienced the spiritual environment and welcoming nature of students, faculty, and staff. “Coming to Southwestern Adventist University has helped me become a better leader,” shared Metzger. “The only reason I am able to attend this University is because of caring, generous, and inspiring donors who give to Southwestern Adventist University.” 


The University’s music department including the University Singers, Southwestern Adventist University's elite traveling choral group, performed a wide selection of pieces during the evening. The repertoire included songs from different cultures, celebrating the diversity of the University student body. 

To close the evening, the University’s new Director of Advancement, Jonathan Seitz, expressed his gratitude to the generous donors and supporters in attendance, and noted he was also thankful for the number of University students that were there to meet them.  Seitz challenged the students to be the next generation of supporters, and future participants for this worthy cause.   He then challenged guests to continue the spirit of giving and pledged to donate his next paycheck if $10,000 was raised by the event’s end. 


As the University Singers sang their closing song, pens could be heard across the hall. By the song’s conclusion, an additional $11,500 was pledged. “We owe so much to our living God and there is no way to out give our Lord and Savior,” shared Seitz. “Give till the Master stops giving to you.”


The event was sponsored by:


Platinum Sponsors

Juanita A. Thompson & the Sensabaugh Family

Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Southwestern Adventist University Board of Trustees


Gold Sponsors

Civitas Senior Living

Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Texas Health Huguley Hospital, Fort Worth South

Town Hall Estates


Silver Sponsors

Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Dr. Laurice K. Durrant

Dr. Dennis & Kathryn McMullen

Dr. Ruben Pechero

Pinnacle Bank

Texico Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


Bronze Sponsors

Enga Almeida

Dr. Tim Bainum

Nerv & Melinna Thomas

Oklahoma Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


Learn more about how you can support the University at