John Brown Launches Its Public Portion of $125 Million Campaign

Northwest Arkansas’ private Christian university earlier today announced a $125 million capital campaign and its goal of completing the fund-raising by 2019.

John Brown University’s “Campaign for The Next Century: A Hope and Future” will support JBU’s mission by securing financial commitments in five areas. It will provide $35 million for scholarships, $30 million for new and renovated facilities, $10 million to endow academic excellence, $25 million in estate gifts for future endowment, and $25 million for future projects and operating support.

“Since the university’s founding almost 100 years ago, JBU has endeavored to train students to honor God through service to others,” said JBU President Chip Pollard. “As we look forward to the start of JBU’s next century, this campaign is about strengthening that same foundation of excellent Christian higher eduacation so that future JBU students will also have the opportunity for a hope and a future.”

To date, $58.3 million has be given or pledged to the campaign, including nearly $5 million in previously unannounced gifts that were revealed at the campaign launch event today at the Berry Performing Arts Center on the JBU’s Siloam Springs campus.

The new gifts include:

• A $2 million anomymous gift to create the Charles Peer Endowed Chair in Visual Arts.

• A $1 million anonymous gift challenge grant for visual arts scholarships for students in visual arts.

• A 1.2 million anonymous gift for the renovation of the Walton Lifetime Health Complex.

• A gift from the Soderquist Family Foundation for $300,000 for a Strategic Initiative Fund for the Soderquist College of Business.

• A $500,000 preliminary commitment from the City of Siloam Springs for the Walton Lifetime Health Complex.

Today’s announcement moves the seven-year campaign from its private phase, which began in 2012, into its public phase. The campaign is scheduled for completion at JBU’s centennial celebration in 2019.

“Part of helping to give students ‘a hope and a future’ is ensuring we keep JBU’s Christian higher education affordable,” said Jim Krall, vice president for advancement. “That is why we estimate nearly half of the campaign will go not only toward scholarships for today, but also, with endowment gifts and estate gifts, toward scholarships that will impact students well into JBU’s next century.”

Other previously announced projects that are part of the campaign include:

• The $6 million Simmons Great Hall, a banquet facility that opened in 2013.

• The $3 million Northslope Apartments, non-traditional student housing for 94 students, opened in 2013.

• The $5.5 million J. Alvin Brown Hall renovation project, which gutted and remodeled the historic men’s residence hall. The renovation was completed last year.

• A $12 million building fund and endowment for a proposed JBU nursing program. The university is scheduled to break ground on a new nursing building in August 2015.

Pictured at the top: April Moreton, John Brown University's development director, shared information about the school's $125 million capital campaign during a presentation at JBU's Berry Performing Arts Center in Siloam Springs.