News reports from Andrews University, Southern Adventist University, Puerto Rico, Bakersfield, California and Australia.

Andrews University has improved enrollment this year, with an overall 2% increase in credit hours. According to an AU Facebook post, the 3,407 Fall 2018 student enrollment on the school’s Berrien Springs campus represents the highest headcount in four years, and the current graduate student enrollment of 1,705 students is the highest graduate enrollment in Andrews history. There were 1,702 undergraduate students registered this fall and this includes 15 more new freshmen than last year at this time and 18 more transfer students.

In honor of a Latin American Heritage month, Southern Adventist University profiled some of the school’s notable Hispanic alumni:

1) Robert Jimenez, ’87, was a marketing manager for Florida Hospital and the Walt Disney Corporation before transitioning to his current role as the VP for Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at Cox Enterprises, Inc. He was named one of Hispanic Business magazine’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America in 2007.

2. Pedro Juan Villanueva, ’45, was the first Hispanic alumnus in the school’s records. He became a practicing physician.

3. Jorge Torres, ’98, is a bilingual pastor. He was deployed twice to Iraq and later moved to Ansbach, Germany, where he served as the advisor to the Seventh-day Adventist chapels all across the United States Army Europe Command.

Hispanics make up 23.5 % of Southern’s student population.

US Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson, has been sent to represent the Trump administration on a visit to Puerto Rico, along with a group of other senior officials. The visit comes one year after Hurricane Maria brought widespread destruction to the region. Carson will deliver a speech to mark the occasion. Yesterday, the White House released a fact sheet describing an “historic recovery effort” and “significant progress” on the island while adding that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has “worked to address lessons learned” from the natural disaster. CNN notes that one week ago, President Donald Trump denied the hurricane’s death toll of 3,000.

Soon after announcing plans to build a new facility in Bakersfield, Adventist Health Bakersfield has said that it will cut 13 to 15 duplicate jobs, primarily laboratory assistants positions. According to the Bakersfield
Californian, Hospital President Sharlet Briggs said that the layoffs were part of a hospital restructuring effort. “It is a balance between keeping our focus on current needs, while also having an eye toward future, long-term sustainability,” said Briggs.

In an article titled “Church at war with itself and locals over residential development,” The Sydney Morning Herald featured a standoff between the South Pacific Division (world region) of the Adventist Church on one side and upset members and locals on the other. The fight is over a proposed residential development around the Wahroonga Adventist School in Wahroonga, New South Wales. The division plans to build up to 175 apartments in four, 6-storey buildings which local Senior Elder David Swain and church clerk Coralie Batchelor claim would result in “irreversible adverse impacts” on the school and two churches on the land parcel owned by the denomination. Pastor Glenn Townend, president of the church’s South Pacific Division, confirmed that the construction would continue: “We are deeply disappointed this proposal has caused our community so much concern, especially as so much effort has been invested over the years to ensure the very best outcome for everyone,” he said.

Dear Adventist Today readers: I’m inserting this note to tell you that we are right now conducting our autumn fundraiser. Adventist Today is largely a volunteer organization, but if we’re going to continue to provide you with stimulating news—often news you get nowhere else—and fascinating commentary by some of the best writers in the denomination, we do need some financial support. I hate begging you, but right now we need to: our treasurer, Paul Richardson, tells me that we’re at our lowest point for a long time. If you want to see us continue to do the journalism that you’ve been accustomed to from Adventist Today, would you follow this link and give us a gift now?    Loren Seibold, Executive Editor, Adventist Today website and magazine.

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