Soderquist Cntr Receives $15,000 Grant From La-Z-Boy

Siloam Springs, Ark (April 25, 2001) — La-Z-Boy of Arkansas recently awarded the Soderquist Center for Business Leadership and Ethics a $15,000 grant. The Center is located on the campus of John Brown University, and the grant funds will be used to expand the Soderquist Experiential Learning Campus (ELC), an outdoor challenge course established on the east portion of campus.

"One problem that is apparent in our society's recent past is the lack of ethical leadership at all levels. We are very fortunate and all of us at La-Z-Boy are very proud to have the Soderquist Center for Business Leadership and Ethics in our hometown of Siloam Springs. The Center brings ethical leadership training based upon Christian principles to our leaders of today and tomorrow. This donation is evidence of our support for the Soderquist Center and their contribution to our community," said Don Mather, general manger of La-Z-Boy Arkansas.

The La-Z-Boy funds will build a series of low-to-the-ground course elements. This part of the challenge course encourages participants to improve teamwork, enhance communication, build trust and develop ethical leadership skills. Up to fifteen stand-alone initiatives will be constructed with the funds from La-Z-Boy, providing a valuable dimension to what is already regarded by many as one of the leading challenging courses in Arkansas.

"This grant reflects the support and commitment John Brown University and La-Z-Boy have shared through the years. The additional resources to the Soderquist Center's Experiential Learning Campus that these funds provide will impact all those throughout the Northwest Arkansas community. The Experiential Learning Campus creates a truly unique learning environment," said Dr. Lee Balzer, president of John Brown University.

The low initiative structures will complement existing challenging learning activities like the Alpine Tower, a 50-foot tall, hourglass shaped wooden structure with over 20 separate routes to the top platform; the Double Diamond Course (longer traversing elements ranging from 25 to 45 feet off the ground); and a 500 foot-long Double Zip Line that provides a ride from the Diamond Course across Sager Creek.

Dr. Timothy Kidd, Director of the Soderquist Experiential Learning Program, says, "The ELC isn't about making people do things for the sake of doing them. It's about encouraging participants to challenge themselves. Over the course of a day, team members learn to work together, to support one another and creatively solve problems. It's remarkable to watch a group of anywhere from eight to eighteen individuals grow together as a team in the space of a few hours."

The La-Z-Boy grant is an important contribution that will significantly enhance the Experiential Learning Campus. Trained facilitators at the campus have served numerous businesses, schools, emergency services, organization and area Chambers of Commerce. This gift will benefit many men, women and young people in Northwest Arkansas.

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,500 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.