Siloam Springs, Ark (September 11, 2001) - Flags were flown at half-mast on campus Tuesday while students of John Brown University attended a special prayer chapel service lead by University President Dr. Lee Balzer, Vice President of Student Development Steve Beers, and Campus Pastor Stan McKinnon in response to the hijacked plane crashes in New York and Washington DC.
Tuesday’s chapel service was used as a time to inform the students of the recent tragic events, to pray together for peace, for those who have lost loved ones, and the leadership of our country. It was Dr. Balzer’s decision that classes would not be closed though students were not required to attend. “It was our decision that it would be counter productive to close campus today,” says Dr. Balzer. “We respect the decisions of other institutions and businesses to close, but we felt it was in the best interest of our predominately residential community of students to interact with each other, the faculty and to seek counsel if necessary.”
The JBU faculty recently went through campus crisis training. Putting that training to use, university officials designated counseling centers on campus for student support groups to meet throughout the day.
Nancy Hoffman, a PeopleCARE counselor at the university, says the campus community is being monitored. “Our campus crisis training is proving to be effective,” says Hoffman.
During chapel, Dr. Beers told the students, “Now is the time to be with those you care about and pray together and that’s what we plan to do.”
John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,600 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.