President to Receive Legislative Citation
Siloam Springs, Ark. (April 21, 2004) — After ten years of service, John Brown University President Lee Balzer, will step down from his duties on July 1. JBU will honor Dr. Balzer at a reception on Thursday, April 22 from 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at Walker Student Center.* A special presentation will take place at 2:00 p.m. Arkansas state senator Kim Hendren will present Dr. Balzer with a legislative citation. Balzer has served since 1994 as the fifth president of JBU. During his tenure as president, the university has grown tremendously. Noted especially as a leader in strategic and long-range planning for the university, Dr. Balzer led the way to a successful comprehensive campaign in 1999 that brought approximately $40 million dollars to the university. Under Dr. Balzer’s leadership, the university successfully established two fully- endowed centers, the Center for Marriage and Family Studies and the Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics. JBU also established a successful graduate studies program with specializations in community counseling, school counseling, marriage and family therapy, leadership and ethics, business administration, and ministry. In addition, the Advance Degree Completion Program for working adults grew significantly under Balzer’s leadership. Classes are now offered at six locations throughout Arkansas. John Brown University’s undergraduate enrollment, retention, and graduation rates are the highest in the institution’s 85-year history. Balzer has also made significant improvements in academic programs at JBU. He oversaw the addition of several new majors, such as international business, digital media, business information systems, and Christian ministry. Under his leadership and support, the Honors Scholars Program doubled in size while it received national awards and honors. JBU also added study abroad programs to the curriculum, beginning with programs in Northern Ireland and Puebla, Mexico that have served 117 students since 1998. Multiple faculty and staff members have also been noted for various achievements. Dr. Rick Ostrander, dean of undergraduate studies and associate professor of history, was the first faculty member to receive a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. Ostrander is presently in Germany on his Fulbright Fellowship teaching courses in American history and working on curriculum development at the University of Wurzburg. In addition to program growth and development, Balzer has also seen many buildings through from concept to completion. The Walker Student Center opened in January 2002; the William H. Bell Science Hall opened in January 2003; the entirely redesigned Art Building opened in January 2004; and the new North Hall is scheduled to open in August 2004. JBU will break ground for a news business center on Thursday, April 22, 2004 at 10:30 a.m. Balzer has been married to his wife, Alice, for 47 years. They have a son, Cary, and a daughter, Tanya Reichert. John Brown University is a top-tier private university, ranked 11th by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,800 students from 42 states and 42 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.