Siloam Springs, Ark (September 25, 2002) - John Brown University will host a dedication, ribbon cutting ceremony and campus celebration in honor of the new $13 million Pat and Willard Walker Student Center on Friday, Sept. 27 on the campus of John Brown University.
The dedication of the student center will feature several events throughout the day, beginning with a special dedication chapel service at 10:30 a.m. featuring guest speaker Dr. Jay Kesler, chancellor of Taylor University. Following the chapel service, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the Walker Student Center at 11:25.
At 3:00 p.m. in the student center, President Lee Balzer will host a presidential forum in the gathering area of the student center. President Balzer will present a scholarly paper titled “Virtues and vocation: The Christian University at its best at the turn of the century.” The following panelists will participate in the forum: Dr. Jay Kesler, chancellor of Taylor University, Mrs. Robbie Castleman, JBU assistant professor of biblical studies, Dr. Ed Ericson, dean of undergraduate studies, Dr. Shirley Thomas, professor emeritus. Rev. Stan McKinnon, campus pastor, will serve as moderator for the forum.
The $13 million, 102,000 square foot student center is named in honor of Pat and Willard Walker, friends of the university and long-time Arkansas philanthropists, who made a generous donation to the project. Designed by Dallas Taylor Architects of Dallas, Tex. and built by Nabholz Construction, Inc. of Little Rock, the multi-use facility houses students and provides office space and classrooms for the division of biblical studies. The Walker Center also provides space for student development, counseling services, the Center for Marriage and Family Studies, student government, campus and CAUSE ministries, the JBU bookstore, post office, the “California Café” snack bar and a large central gathering place. Construction on the building began in spring 2000 and students moved into the residential space in the fall of 2001. Eighty-six rooms, designed as two-room suites with a shared bath, provide housing for 185 male and female students. Each floor offers residents a lounge, computer lab and study area. Women live on the first two floors and men occupy the third. The JBU campus took full occupancy of the building on January 7, 2002. In the public portion of the building, the post office, snack bar and bookstore open to a large, central gathering place. All of these elements allow the new building to serve as a social and spiritual hub for the university. “I’m delighted with this new facility!” Dr. Balzer said. “It brings us a community center- a place for all to connect with the entire JBU environment. The entire building represents the total mission of JBU, distinctly Christian learning, living, and healthy relationship building, right at the center of campus. It is a true ‘head, heart, hand’ place.” John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,700 students from 42 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.