OBG – Parents demand tuition refund from Southern for their unmarried kids

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Look what we dug up from the archives:)

image courtesy of TaxCredits.net
image courtesy of TaxCredits.net
COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. — Mark and Suzie Robertson, parents of two recent Southern Adventist University graduates, are demanding a full tuition and board refund from the university.  “The whole reason we sent Seth and Bethany to Southern was so that they could both get married. All we ever heard about were a few lame banquet dates,” said Mark. “We just wasted a couple hundred grand.”

“What has Adventist education come to when academics, chapel and athletics take the place of focused courtship?” asked an exasperated Suzie.  “Now both our kids are over 22 and who knows if they’ll ever find anyone!”

“As far as I’m concerned, this is classic false advertising,” said Mark. “Southern makes marriage out to be a slam-dunk if you so much as register for a summer session.  All those ads featuring clean-cut kids flirting over textbooks on well-mowed lawns are pure lies.  We’ve been duped!”

The couple has submitted the request for a refund to the university’s administration. The university says it is currently reviewing the case but has yet to issue a formal reply.  “It is unlikely that the Robertsons will receive their refund,” says a source with insider knowledge into the handling of the case. “Southern can provide the environment but nothing’s going to happen unless you actually go on those vespers dates.”

Suzie and Mark Robertson realize that a refund is not going to fix their actual problem.  But they have decided to stay optimistic.  “There’s always a second chance.  We are not giving up.  As soon as we get our refund we are putting the money right back into Seth and Bethany’s marriage prospects.  Neither of them were pre-Med but that doesn’t mean they can’t study something at Loma Linda,” said Suzie. “We hear they have a great Dental Hygiene program.  Hey, maybe they could even score a doctor each if they hang around long enough.”

This story was originally on BarelyAdventist on March 7, 2014


Single, separated, divorced and widowed Adventists who want to change that status wanted.


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    1. Lady Gag

      When my kids were born, I took them back to the hospital for a refund. I asserted that they were “substantially unsatisfactory or had manufacturing defects.” The hospital refused to give me a refund, but cheerfully issued store credit.

  1. Joshua Risinger

    Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous. Southern has many flaws, just like other educational facilities, but to fault them because “your kids” didn’t get married is beyond asinine. Maybe “your kids” are socially incompetent and no one wants to breed with them. These parents need to be ignored.

    1. Captain Obvious

      The article is satire. Southern has long had a nickname: Southern Matrimonial College (now University). It’s poking fun at the folks who send their kids to college to get married.

      1. Dan

        Honestly I thought it was serious. I realize the nickname but I doubt it’s an officially recognized name by the school, therefore I would assume that it’s possible an idiot could in fact want a refund back.
        But since it’s satire and it’s not a problem people actually have (trying to get a refund for I married children) I didn’t really find it funny as much as asinine and/or retarded

    1. Jacqueline Hills

      I totally agree…. Love the humor and laughter in all of this. Keep it coming. I feel GREAT without having to take synthetic drugs to make me feel good. And honestly, I was a student at the then called Southern Missionary/Matrimonial College… I almost got that matrimonial husband, but God said NO, no now… I guess God felt we both needed a little more polish:-) and ha ha ha God is still polishing me because I am now 53yo and have never been married… It’s ALL GOOD though.

      1. Jacobus

        There are worse things than being single, as you apparently already know. Like, being with the wrong person who doesn’t appreciate you, being with an emotionally abusive person, the list goes on.
        I was not in the SDA school system, so never had that expectation. I did marry Adventist, met at church, seemed perfect, etc… still crashed and burned. She’s now married to someone else who matches the big aggressive guy she always told me she wished I was… and isn’t happy with him either.
        I’m happier now that no one is picking me apart every day.
        EGW on courtship: “Make haste slowly.” ;^)

  2. Delfina Rose Harrod

    I attended Southern all 5 years and even worked there a couple years afterwards. I did not meet my husband at Southern. Instead, I met him 5 years later. So, the prospects of getting married while at SAU is not for everyone. The true focus of a student attending Southern should not be whether he/she gets married or not, but instead should be on Christ. He is to be our main focus- not our relationships with our fellow human beings. He does not fail us as does our fellow man.

  3. face palm

    The point of going to school is to get an education. If you happen to find someone well it’s a plus, but do not go expecting to get married. LOL
    Here’s another thing what if they were not interested in finding someone? What if they’re parents are forcing them into this?

    I went to a different SDA school didn’t find someone but I went for the education. If I had wanted to find someone I would have looked for someone in retreats, events, and things like that. Point is, lol these parents are nuts.

  4. Brittany

    What a bunch of idiots!! If their kids are 1/2 as stupid as these parents it’s no wonder they couldn’t find someone to marry. Get a flippin life!! It’s college not a wedding chapel.

  5. Patty

    Spent money for 1 1/2 years at CUC for our two kids (no success) then 2 1/2 years at SAU (no success) then another 4 years for one of them at LLU. All they have accomplished is useful degrees. No grandkids for us!! We are next setting about offering 30k per year to one male and one female to marry our kids! This is what we would pay to send them back through SAU so as to get hitched! So… the male must be of a good moral character also must be a hard worker. lastly but not least he must be able to father children! Female must want to have children, be a wonderful Vegan cook, and able to home school the children. This 30,000/yr will be for a 4 year commitment (must produce at least 2 children per couple no children NO MONEY).

    1. mrs zinn

      Guess leaving it up to God is out of the question right?! I think its funny that so many claim themselves to be christian yet when it comes to God making the decisions people cant handle it. This is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard.

      1. Patty

        Thank you mrs zinn,
        I did not write this to be serious as the original article is not real. I do agree with you that God needs to lead and we need to follow. It may even be that in these days it may be best to be single and serve the Lord like Paul did. I do think that it is nice when young people go to school to get a Godly education and meet friends they have for life and maybe even a partner.
        But do keep in min that this site seems to just be a humorous site without foul language and crudeness hopefully! Blessings Patty.

        1. Laughing all the way

          Ahhh Patty, your comment was AWESOME!!! I know my parents felt this same way, except for the $30k reward!!

          Neither my brother nor I found our spouses at SAU… and my brother even tried AU.

          Clearly we should have tried Union since that is where our parents met and got married!!

      2. Joe the Baptist, who enjoys this site

        So what do we say to the average Joe who tells us, “God gave me message…….. does God “talk” to folks? I mean really “talk”, like Samuel of old? Most of us would think the person was odd.
        99% of all christians of any denomination would not believe it.

        Paul wrote (by divine inspiration) to Timothy. In 1 Timothy he rules out female teachers to men, and by proxy, female prophets, so what gives? Per 1 Timothy, EGW should only be a prophet to the female SDA members.

    2. Layne Olwin


      If most of the people commenting are SDA schooled then they need to go back and to college and this time, pay attention. I am not kidding about the pay attention portion.

      1. Rosemary

        I’ve refrained so far because it feels like tripping a toddler, but I’m glad someone said it. And second time around, please take a remedial grammar course. And a little refresher on how spell-check works.

  6. Hindsight

    Lol! Is the refund still good after 30 years! My SMC marriage didn’t work out so well! Union let’s alumni go back for free if your degree doesn’t work out. Maybe SAU could guarantee a successful marriage or come back for free! JK

  7. Jacqueline Hills

    I totally agree…. Love the humor and laughter in all of this. Keep it coming. I feel GREAT without having to take synthetic drugs to make me feel good. And honestly, I was a student at the then called Southern Missionary/Matrimonial College… I almost got that matrimonial husband, but God said NO, no now… I guess God felt we both needed a little more polish:-) and ha ha ha God is still polishing me because I am now 53yo and have never been married… It’s ALL GOOD though.

  8. mrs zinn

    What happened to leaving the matrimonial part up to God. Isnt God who has the right person set aside for you? Im sorry this is complete ignorance. I attended southern and didnt meet my husbanf. Instead i meet him 4 years later in my home town. I am so gratful of the person God chose for me. You are at the university for an education and spiritual connection not a physical one! If you meet someone great. If not it is jot your time and God has someone out therr for you. How can you call yourselves adventist let alone christian when you cannot let Gof be in control of the destiny amd your lives or kids lives? Food for thought.

    1. Hugh

      As it is customary for the wife’s family to pay for the wedding/union, your refund has already been delt to you. Your refund is valid for 50% off wedding expenses. This voucher can be doubled, depending of coarse on the role your daughter will choose. Congratulations!!

  9. angela

    One goes to SAU to get an education first and foremost! All of the activities; vespers, SA events, different clubs along with all the other things going on there are a way to meet a special someone. You are responsible for your own future…not the university whether your there for an education or “find a mate”. I went to SAU and met a lot of nice young men but got a great education! The goal was education, that I will always have where as a man maybe not! The parents claim and wish for a refund is nuts and should be dismissed. That is just stupid!

    1. Val E Girl.

      Angela, your so right! I mean, really? These people are so out of touch with themselves, if they would just get back in touch then they would be happy, and they would smile and have no worries. The poor students need to read their books and learn. Thank you Angela, I want you to be the next student body president and speaker.

  10. angela

    After reading this again I am just plan mad! “scoring a doctor?” Please, those poor kids now have to deal with this lame stigma their parents have put out there for them. Look out LLU, you could be next in court if their kids do not “score a doctor” or mate!

  11. Same boat

    My son was there for 4 years and no girlfriend…not that he didn’t try, but the girls were busy thinking about how many years they had left to get their careers going and they didn’t want to get serious too soon, in case a better options came along..I met my husband there and after 20 yrs. of marriage he thought a better option came along, so then comes the problem, “can you keep them”…

  12. Linda Stevens Spady

    I am very sceptical that this story is even true. But my experience at Southern was wonderful, even if I had never married!!! Great friends, good education, lots of fun and growth in my walk with Jesus. And five years later at another institution I found my soul mate.

  13. Todd Tolson

    Well done! For a moment I thought I was reading a post from the onion!

    Having lived in Collegedale in the late ’60’s and finishing 8th grade at A. W. Spaulding in ’72 I always had a keen appreciation for those young married SMC couples and Vietnam vets who tolerated a youngster without a dad hanging around. Even then, talk being what it was between my older sister and her friends, I thought MRS was a legit degree in the nursing department! 😉

  14. Bryan

    What a hoot! Of course it’s all about the Mrs. degree! I too can vouch for the high quality of the spousal market at Union – there’s so little to do amongst the cornfields that you know any of the prospects there are either dedicated or desperate! Oops! What does that say about me??

  15. Yu Jeong

    How sad is this, that people think university will be the only place to find a significant other. God is not limited, he has more in store for people and most people forget about that. Where is it stated that University will provide a spouse for their children??? I’m sorry but it sounds like this is the most pointless topic ever. I think people need expand their horizon when it comes to Love.

  16. Hdelano

    Really? we are treating these people like they have a legitimate case? I had no problem getting married right out of my adventist highschool sounds like their kids are not quite the catches their parents seem to think for one thing they both think education is a waste of time an money i wouldn’t marry somone who thought that way

  17. Sarah


    Looks like adventist universities need to provide an obligatory class on understanding humor… maybe outsource it to a non-adventist university to start.

    Love the articles. Keep ’em coming.

  18. Mark

    The comments are funnier than the article! Has the humor gene been totally, unequivocally and irreparably bred out of the Adventist populace as a whole? I knew we lost the ability to dance a long time ago but now this? Oh the horror!


    This is what is wrong with the Adventist church…..Putting tons of pressure on college aged kids to be married by the time they have finished college is ridiculous.. Studies have shown that couples who get married in their 20’s divorce rate skyrockets. College kids need time to their selves and time to get to know who they are and what they want.

    no thank you…..STOP pressuring kids to get married it leads to DIVORCE and unhappy marriages.

  20. Delink

    WOW…the comments from those that missed the point are even funnier than the “article”. I am shocked at the number of people that need this explained to them. A lot of people need to lighten up a little…..we need to be able to laugh at ourselves.

  21. Randy Beihl

    I’m almost having more fun reading the responses than the original ‘news’ stories.
    It blows my mind how many people just can’t comprehend satire, even when it is clearly noted at the end of each article.

    BTW, I suppose I should try for a refund from Western Wedding College (now University)… I didn’t find my spouse until 3 years after graduation.

  22. Jason

    Can’t believe the humorless people who didn’t see this as a joke. Not an Adventist now but I grew up Adventist so I still appreciate the humor. Some people just need to get a life. 🙂

  23. Queenie

    This was hilarious! But I thought it was Walla Walla that had the MRS degree? Maybe an article about how pastors want partners who sing and play the piano? Let the interviews begin at La Sierra!

  24. Jenni

    This is absolutely crazy. COLLEGE IS AN EDUCATION! not a dating pool. Granted, that is often a side benefit, but hardly a reason to ask for tuition back. Tuition was paid to TEACH your kids, for them to EARN their degree. If they did that, Southern did as they were paid to do. I have to agree with other posts, your kids may not be desirable mates.

  25. Ray Kraft

    Maybe the colleges could up their success rate by granting an MM Degree (Masters of Marriage) to all students who married another student before they graduated, or were married within one year after graduation to a student to whom they became engaged before graduation.

    Just think how that looks on the wall in the office, “John Smith, B.S., M.D., M.M.”

    The more alphabet soup the better.

  26. richard mills

    Hey, Robertson clan. Youse got it all backwards. Your kids were supposed to be matriculating not checking out the chicks & dudes. Go straighten out your priorities. Youse should have sent them off to West Point, etc. where they get what is called an education, something useful to do in life. Southern does not owe you a dime!! Why don’t you take it up wit Hillary or Bernie. They are for free education. Woe iz me.

  27. Blake Nichols

    ░░█░░░█▄▄█░█░░█░█░█░█░█▄▄█ 2016

  28. Will O'Reilly

    Fact 1: Many people who need mental health treatment do not get it.
    Fact 2: Many people who need such treatment do not know they need it.
    Fact 3: Many of those people come here to post comments.

    1. Richard Pills

      Will, sometimes they let me out of the padded cell and I go to the TV room. Don’t worry; everybody has a straight-jacket on. There’s also a computer. That’s where I read BarelyAdventist.com.

      When the guys in the white coats aren’t looking, I post a comment. If they catch me, they give me an electric shock. I like today’s story; it’s far out – like me. I guess I need my meds.

      One time a chaplain dude preached here on the great question, “Why are we all here?” One of the really psycho patients blurted out, “Because we ain’t all there!”

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