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The Founding Family

John Brown III

The third in a founding generation of great men, John Brown III was a natural choice for the third president of John Brown University. Growing up in Siloam Springs as the son of the then-president and the grandson of the founder, Brown was surrounded by JBU.

In 1971, Brown graduated from JBU with a degree in business administration, and in 1974 received his J.D. from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The same year, Brown began to work with development, administration and legal affairs for JBU. Two years later, he was elected vice president of the University and secretary for the Board of Trustees.

Brown assumed the presidency at John Brown University in 1979, also teaching criminology and business classes.

Like his father's term at the University, Brown's presidency was characterized by a period of growth, in which the enrollment grew more than 30 percent and $14 million of construction was completed. In 1979, a new wing was added to the Mayfield women's residence hall, and by 1980, the Learning Resource Center Complex was completed for student and faculty use. The $6 million Walton Lifetime Health Complex opened in 1988.

Under Brown's leadership, an entrance plaza was erected in 1982, a monument that prominently featured the Christian and American flags representing "the founder's dream of building a college where Christian truth and the ideals of responsible citizenship would serve as the foundation for educating the 'head, heart and hand.'"

The founder's grandson was also concerned about the community. His involvement in Siloam Springs and the surrounding areas included writing a column for the local newspaper, serving as of the Kiwanis Service Club and being president of the United Way board. Additionally, Brown was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Christian Legal Society.

In 1993, Brown decided to go deeper into public affairs. He left the presidency at JBU and accepted a position as executive administrator for the newly-formed Windgate Foundation, which donated to marriage and family enrichment projects. By 1995, he was also serving as state senator from the 34th district of Arkansas.

Currently an Arkansas state senator, Brown continues to be actively connected to the institution that his grandfather founded, teaching political thought courses occasionally. He was awarded a doctorate of higher education by John Brown University in 1993.