New Vice President for Advancement advocates for discussions of philanthropy

Ellen Hostetler goes down the slide in the Bietz Center for Student Life.
The building was fully funded by donors. Hostetler is the vice president for Advancement, a department on campus that helps students financially through scholarships and donations. Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo illustration: Xander Ordinola)
Ellen Hostetler goes down the slide in the Bietz Center for Student Life. The building was fully funded by donors. Hostetler is the vice president for Advancement, a department on campus that helps students financially through scholarships and donations. Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo illustration: Xander Ordinola)

Southern Adventist University’s Advancement office is advocating for campus-wide philanthropy, according to Vice President for Advancement Ellen Hostetler.

“I want to encourage the idea that as we go through our college education, … graduate and … move into the world, that we’re here for the express purpose of being the hands and feet of Jesus,” Hostetler said. 

Hostetler said Advancement works with alumni, businesses, government grants and, most often, “people with a personal affinity,” to establish scholarship funds for students. 

“The most fun part is working with the team to see donors reach their goals and benefiting students,” Hostetler said. 

The university hired Hostetler for the position last September. Hostetler said she worked in health care administration for six years before moving to fundraising and then to her current position. She also has worked as an adjunct professor in Southern’s School of Business since 2018. 

Director for Development Kenny Turpen summarized Hostetler’s role as “[overseeing] all the philanthropic efforts of the university.” According to Hostetler, this includes fundraising for projects that tuition doesn’t cover and overseeing alumni relations, scholarship programs, endowment funds and the annual campaign for special projects. 

Hostetler said the role of Advancement is to cover expenses that tuition doesn’t cover. According to Turpen, there are currently 206 “active endowed” scholarships at Southern. Many of these scholarships are matched to students by Student Finance. 

Students must apply for others, like the Work Initiative Scholarship Endowment (WISE). According to Hostetler, WISE awards approximately $100,000 yearly to working students by matching up to $3,000 of each student’s earnings per year, providing that they apply at least 50% of their earnings towards their school bill. 

Any working undergraduate student is eligible to apply for WISE through Student Finance, according to Turpen. He said students can apply for this scholarship and obtain more information about the process at the Student Finance office.

Students can reach the Student Finance office at 423-236-2535. They can also reach the Advancement office by calling 423-236-2829, or by stopping by the office on the second floor of Lynn Wood Hall. 

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