Remembering the Life and Legacy of John E. Brown Jr.
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My memories of the Chancellor Brown began in 1959 when I was enticed to become a student at JBU because he started the Intercollegiate Basketball program and allowed me to be a part of it. During those years he not only knew most all of the students by name but he also knew many of the parents. Another memory of those years as a student was his willingness to dismiss classes early for a break without regard to any exams that the teachers had scheduled. I remember many 'well known' personalities who came to speak to us because of his many contacts. I then had the privilege of being hired to teach at JBU under his Presidency. There are many stories to tell about his leadership. I taught here for 36 years so have had the opportunity to be his 'friend' for about 52 years. He was a very friendly person with a strong personality that truly loved this university and gave his life for it.
- Dr. Lee Netherton
I was a student at JBU when John, Jr. returned from WWII. Have followed his career and legacy since then. I'm thankful he was there to continue the work his father had started. They are the foundation on which JBU stands as it is today.
- Connie Baker Freriks
I will always be grateful to this man for continuing his father's legacy. He was always so approachable. As a broadcasting major, class of '70 I will always remember interviewing him at the senior dinner held at his family's home and asking his opinions about the need for a student union. This was when the Arkansas building housed the only real indoor common area for students on campus. God bless you, sir and God bless JBU.
- Peggy Carr Bodie
As I reflect on the life of John E. Brown Jr. I see a man faithful to the Lord during all my years of acquaintance with him, courageous in serving his country during WWII and committed to the Christian foundation and fundamentals established by his father John E Brown Sr. for JBU. The encouragement of his kind words, his dedication and good deeds will continue until time is no more.
- Wm. J. Berry
Along with everything else, John was a committed Rotarian. I was a guest at the Siloam Springs Rotary Club meeting just last week, and John was there talking about his upcoming surgery and also joking that the tornadoes were out to get him. He said he heard it on TV. The announcement was, "tornadoes are headed toward Siloam Springs and John Brown." Always a great sense of humor.
- Joe Walenciak
Compared to other Christian and non-Christian schools JBU has not lost its compass. Chancellor Brown deserves a great deal of credit and thanks for this.
- Maurice Rankin
I've known John and his family for many years. He was one of Siloam's most respected men. He was a great asset to the
Community. I attended church with him. There was always a smile and a handshake. One of the things I will never forget is that we eat at church every Wednesday evening. Our Kiwanis club meets at JBU every Wednesday at noon. He also ate at cafeteria. He would always ask me, "Karl, what are we eating tonight?" I'll always look over at that table and never forget.
- Karl B. Mounger, Postmaster Retired
The following prayer from The Book of Common Prayer means a lot to me and I hope to all of you. Dr. Brown was a great man and a friend.
O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day
John Broun Jr. We thank you for giving him to us, his family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before through Jesus Christ our Lord.
– Arnie Mayer
Chancellor Brown was one of the kindest men I have ever known. He was a constant encouragement to students past and present. I believe his greatest achievement in this life was the way he reflected our Lord Jesus Christ in word and deed. He truly modeled, "Head, Heart, Hand, Christ over all!" There is no doubt his homecoming included the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Well done Mr. Brown. Well done.
– Jay Foley
Dr. Brown was President Brown when Bob and I were at JBU and he was Chancellor when our children were there, but I remember him best as my dad's classmate and treasure the smiles they would exchange as they greeted each other at homecomings through the years.
– Nancy Ayres Schaefer
As a transfer student my sophmore year at JBU, I didn't know a soul. Dr. Brown was ALWAYS warm and sincerely friendly. After we started the Sound Generation I was the original bass player Dr. Brown and his family were great supporters. I remember walking to 'downtown' Siloam Spring and Dr. Brown picking me up in his pickup. Years later, he would ask about my kids and knew their names. Dr. Brown raised some GREAT kids and my sincere sympathy to his wife and family.
– Dick Marsh '70
I've known Dr. Brown since I was very young--and I've known him vicariously through my father who was his roommate at Brown Military Academy. He was the epitome of graciousness and Southern hospitality. His sense of humor exuded an element of sobriety at any occasion. He was truly a connector--connecting John Brown University to the outside world and providing a megaphone to the country about the treasure that is John Brown University. His family is but an extension of his personality--and his family continues to be a blessing in my life. His memory enhances the warmth of John Brown University.
– James J. Naramore, M.D.
Much of today's greatness for JBU is due to the faithful legacy of Dr. John Brown, Jr. From my earliest days as an Adjunct Professor to later serving on the Board of Trustees, Dr. Brown kindly and graciously welcomed me to the JBU family. I admired and deeply appreciated the man. He will be missed.
– Robert V. Cupp
One thing I learned from the Chancellor was that no dinner was complete without dessert. He was a man of simple pleasures, an uncomplicated view of life, an ability to see the practical things that needed to be done, a lack of patience for anything or anyone who was a phony, a wonderful sense of humor and a memory for names that was scary. "Well done, good and faithful servant." Matt. 25:23.
– Larry Kreider
I first met Dr. Brown in 1967 when I was a junior in high school. After the Sunday morning service at the Cathedral of the Ozarks I was invited to the cafeteria with Jim Whitby, my YFC director, the speaker that morning and Dr. Brown. Walking down the steps into the cafeteria, then located in the Californina dorm, Dr. Brown casually took his place at the back of the line behind dozens of students. This simple act of courtesy and servant-leadership impressed me and helped change my mind regarding where I wanted to go to college. Through the years that followed in every meeting with Dr. Brown he was cordial and engaging. His impact will continue to reverberate through the school he was so pivotal in building. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord . . . they will rest from their labor, for their deeds follow them." Rev. 14:13, NIV.
– David Shibley
Our deepest sympathy goes to the Brown family. Words are inadequate to describe the friendliness and genuineness of Dr. Brown. We will remember how he met you with a smile and called you by name.
– Larry and Joanne O'Kelley
My sympathy goes out not only to the immediate family of Dr. Brown Jr., but to the extended JBU's families as well. I know that he will be missed by all.
– Dr.Ralph C. Kennedy's son, John M. Parker-Kennedy
I first met Chancellor Brown in 2008 during a short stint working on the JBU campus. He and Louise welcomed me by treating me to lunch one day. It made me feel so honored and so at home on the JBU campus. I will always appreciate and cherish that simple act of hospitality. My heartfelt condolences and prayers are with Louise and all of Chancellor Brown's family.
– Lynn Blankenship
I just finished watching John Brown's memorial service. I'm in China right now and have been so encouraged by remembering John's life and his influence on God's kingdom. What a blessing his life was and a testimony to God's faithfulness to JBU!
– Nathan Fields
I was just out of a VA hospital and on a limited class schedule, so I enrolled in the spring of 1948 and was there when John Junior became the youngest university president in the country. He--as a fellow Navy veteran not much older than I--had us "returnees" at heart, and I always felt he recognized that. We also shared other interests. One night in 1950 he and Caroline drove over to Tulsa with Clint Fowler, Thelma McQuay, Bob Barclay and me so we could attend the roller Skating Vanities of 1950! As an alumnus, I was gratified to see the strides JBU made under his leaderhip. And it was always a pleasure to renew our acquaintance at Homecomings over the years.
– Harry Waterhouse, '52
One of my earliest memories was the excitement in our community when the long-awaited son was born to the Brown Family. There was a lot of good-humored banter among the friends of John Brown, Sr. that I heard occasionally as a youngster.
John saw the value of dedicated human resources and did his best to encourage the faculty and staff. He planned a number of special events in which university personnel cooperated to carry out unusual projects in which we all swung mallets like tearing down an original coffee shop/store or a faculty-staff retreat to Grand Lake for a fishing expedition. They learned more about each other and to rely on each other and to avoid self-centered narrowness in their approach. He brought a level of understanding of people that was immensely helpful to his father and in many ways contributed to the success of the institution.
John had many friends, close friends I never hear him speak critically of his fellow workers.
John will be missed as a person in his own right and not just as the son of John Brown, Sr.
– Storm Whaley, Class of 1935
Being born in the old John Brown hospital, I have known the Brown family all my life. Though he doesn't remember the event, my brother Arthur was born on the JBU campus in what was then the infirmary - later would become the home of Billie Holliday and her family. One time I was in TX and had the opportunity to attend the TX State Fair in the Dallas, area. One afternoon I had the opportunity to hear the Sound Generations perform at the TX State Fair. Was I ever surprised when Dr. Brown showed up too. I will always cherish my memories of JBU and the Brown family.
– Lucy Kennedy Cundiff