Siloam Springs, Ark (January 26, 2000) - John Brown University has successfully completed Campaign 2000: God's Highest and Best!, substantially surpassing its original minimum goal. "I am deeply grateful for the campaign results that now total more than $39.7 million. Our original minimum goal was $32.5 million," said Dr. Lee Balzer, John Brown University president. "All of us at JBU thank all the individuals, corporations and foundations who gave. This is a wonderful leap forward for the University and a milestone in JBU history."
A strategic planning committee in 1995 and 1996 developed campus funding priorities after significant input from faculty, students, staff and university trustees.
The funds generated will apply to six different goals: science building, $7,193,980; Campus Community Center, $8,545,754; endowment and start-up funding of the Soderquist Leadership Center, $8,134,478; endowment and start-up funding of The Center for Marriage and Family Studies, $6,756,428; endowment funds for scholarships, programs, and buildings, $5,480,873; and the Annual Scholarship Fund and expenses $3,590,675.
"This campaign reflects the hard work of our Board, Steering Committee, faculty, staff, and all who contributed to the vision and purpose of JBU," said President Balzer.
One of the major projects of the campaign is the construction of a science building, a top priority at JBU. It will provide classrooms and laboratories for undergraduate teaching and research in chemistry, physics, biology and human anatomy. "A new science building will keep and attract top-notch science faculty and students," Balzer said.
The other major building project is the 98,000 square foot Campus Community Center. This facility will symbolize and facilitate integration of faith, learning, and living. Gary Oliver, executive director of The Center for Marriage and Family Studies, is excited about the future. "There's a very clear sense we are part of something bigger than any of us or all of us combined," Oliver said. "This is not simply about raising money. This is about a vision, not only to uniquely and substantially impact our generation, but also to impact future generations."
Alan Cureton, vice president for university advancement, has spearheaded the successful campaign since its beginning. "The scope and breadth of the campaign projects were not accidental but the result of careful planning. Together they are moving the university to new levels of service and influence," Cureton said. "That positions us for God's highest and best, our campaign motto." And Cureton knows that the future looks bright. Not only will JBU be impacted by the campaign, so will Northwest Arkansas and the world. "JBU’s mission remains the same today as it was eighty years ago. With the additions of The Center for Marriage and Family Studies and the Soderquist Leadership Center we have greater opportunities to enlarge our mission," Cureton said. "That’s why I believe the best days for JBU are still ahead."
During the campaign, JBU received gifts from more than 1,000 new donors. Alumni played an important role in the campaign along with significant gifts from national and regional foundations and many friends of the university. "It has really been a pleasure to be a part of the tremendously successful campaign," said Mark Simmons, member of the JBU Board of Trustees and president of Simmons Foods. "The people involved with the university are all outstanding and have done a wonderful job communicating the JBU message. The Center for Marriage and Family Studies and the Soderquist Leadership Center are both great extensions of the mission of JBU and have been a significant part of this successful campaign."
For the last five years JBU has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional liberal arts colleges in the south. In addition, for nine consecutive years, the Templeton Foundation as designated JBU as a "College of Character," an honor granted this year to only 100 of 3,600 colleges and universities across the United States.
Doyle Butts, campaign steering committee member and associate dean of undergraduate studies, says the campaign’s success and new facilities will continue the university’s reputation for excellence in higher education. "The funds will help the university maintain and build upon the national reputation it has established," Butts said. "Increasingly, John Brown University has a unique opportunity to enrich and enhance people’s lives throughout northwest Arkansas and around the world," President Balzer said. "That’s very exciting."