• 57 percent of the university’s expenditures are made in Chattanooga, representing $54 million (USD) in local spending.
    • Southern Adventist University’s presence created 5,338 jobs local full-time jobs.
    • SAU has approximately 2,700 students.

05 February 2022 | A recent economic impact study looking at the 2020-2021 school year revealed Chattanooga, Tennessee, US, benefits from Southern Adventist University’s presence by at least $152 million (all figures USD) a year, reported news site The Chattanoogan.

Southern Adventist University is located in Collegedale, Tennessee, US, about 20 miles from Chattanooga.

The study, conducted by a private consultant, focused on three major areas of the university’s economic impact: local business volume generated by university expenditures ($76 million); local full-time jobs created and sustained by Southern’s presence (5,338 jobs, including the university’s own 475 full-time-equivalent jobs, counted over the same period); and individual income generated by university expenditures (at least $77 million).

The Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area is the region most economically benefited by Southern’s operations.

It is estimated that approximately 57 percent of the university’s expenditures are made in that geographic area, representing $54 million in local spending.

“Southern is blessed to be part of this thriving community, and we are proud to contribute to the area’s economic well-being as well,” said Ken Shaw, EdD, president of Southern Adventist University.

Shaw said the university provides intrinsic value as well. “Increased education results in improved productivity and quality of life, and our high-caliber graduates are a huge asset to local businesses and organizations. We provide many opportunities for personal growth, plus numerous services and facilities to the community, and that indirect economic impact makes a significant difference.”

Southern was founded in 1892 and has approximately 2,700 students currently earning degrees ranging from associate to doctoral. But community members also can enjoy access to university’s wellness center, vegetarian health food store and nearly 40 miles of wooded trails on its 1,300 campus acres, according to officials.

This article has been edited by AT staff.


(Photo: Students are seen walking on the campus of Southern Adventist University on Feb. 4, 2022. A new study revealed the university added $152 million to the economy of nearby city Chattanooga, Tennessee, US. Photo via Southern Adventist University’s Facebook page.)

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