Keeping Faith Campaign

Campaign Summary

Overview | Scholarships/Endowment | Buildings/Renovations | Timeline


Keeping Faith began on July 1, 2005 and was expected to be completed by June 30, 2012. However, due to overwhelming support, Keeping Faith was completed one year early (2011) and $18 million over the original goal of $100 million.

During Keeping Faith:

  • JBU built four new buildings (Berry Performing Arts Center, Bill George Arena, North Hall Dormitory, and Engineering and Construction Management Building) and renovated the Kresge Dining Hall and the historic Cathedral Group during the campaign. As a result, by 2011, 60 percent of JBU’s campus was either new or refurbished in the past decade.
  • Because of two matching gift programs for endowed scholarships called the $10 Million Challenge and the $20 Million Challenge, 87 new endowed scholarships were established to provide financial aid to deserving students. **Note: Endowed scholarships live on in perpetuity, distributing funds to students year after year. Gifts to establish new endowed scholarships at JBU are invested, and 5 percent of the five-year market average of the funds is awarded in the form of annual scholarships.
  • Close to $1 Million in new scholarship funds were awarded to deserving students.
  • Approximately 16,000 supporters participated in one or more of the projects included in the $110 Million Keeping Faith Campaign. JBU is extremely grateful for the generous support that our alumni, parents, and friends.


10 Million Challenge - The $10 Million Challenge was initiated by a $5 million matching pledge from an anonymous donor. In order to receive the full $5 million gift, JBU had to raise $5 million in current and deferred gifts designated to new or existing endowed scholarships in three years. The matching funds were awarded to the university as corresponding funds were received from other donors.

In December 2006, fund raising was completed on the $10 Million Challenge, nearly doubling the university’s endowed scholarship funds in only half the time given to complete the project.

$20 Million Challenge - On April 13, 2007, JBU announced the beginning of a five-year matching gift program that was created by an anonymous donor to encourage alumni and friends of JBU, to raise $20 million that could be used for existing or new endowed scholarships and essential program endowment.

The $20 Million Challenge came on the heels of JBU’s highly successful $10 Million Challenge for endowed scholarships, which was completed in January 2007.

An anonymous donor pledged up to $10 million in matching funds to initiate a new $20 Million Endowment Challenge for JBU. Funds raised were matched up to $10 million for all current and deferred gifts designated to new or existing endowed scholarships and for endowing important programs across campus. Together, JBU’s raised funds and the matching funds added $20 million to JBU’s endowment.

At least 50 percent of the $20 Million Challenge was reserved for new or existing endowed student scholarships, which include scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students who meet specific scholarship criteria.

Depending on donor interest, other funds raised by the $20 Million Challenge endowed: faculty development grants; the discipleship program within the Office of Christian Formation; scholarships and program costs for JBU’s new undergraduate leadership program; and the expansion of programs offered by the Center for Healthy Relationships (CHR).

The JBU Scholarship Fund (JBUSF) - is an annual fund that provides support for JBU students through need-based scholarship and the work-study program. Every gift to the JBU Scholarship Fund goes directly to help students receive their education at JBU.

The fund plays a crucial role in providing the $12 million in financial aid given annually to students. The Keeping Faith Campaign included the JBUSF for all seven years.                         

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CathedralCathedral Group Restoration - In May 1945, ground was broken to build the Cathedral, the first of a three building “Memorial Group” in memory of JBU’s war dead. Originally, each building’s cinder block construction was to be covered with a stone face to preserve the exterior as well as give the buildings a distinct look on campus. Over the years, however, the exposure to sun, rain and ice took their toll on the building’s exteriors.

The Cathedral group restoration project allowed JBU to update the outside surfaces of the Cathedral of the Ozarks, art building, and engineering building with limestone, remodel interior classrooms and offices, further preserve the Cathedral's stained glass windows, replace roofs, update the heading and air conditioning systems, and many other necessary repairs.

In 2007, each building finally received its limestone covering, thus completing the original vision John Brown Sr. had for the memorial group of buildings.

Kresge Dining Hall - As part of the Keeping Faith Campaign, Kresge was giving a $1.3 million major renovation, which was completed in August 2008.

Art 2“Art 2” Renovation (Now Windgate Visual East) - John Brown University's current Engineering Building is being renovated into a cutting-edge art facility for the Department of Visual Arts. The renovation is made possible through an anonymous gift of $2.5 million and is part of the university's Keeping Faith Campaign. When the renovation on the northeast building is complete, the 200-plus majors in the department will utilize both facilities

Originally built in 1956, the northeast building of the Cathedral Group first housed the university library. The exterior of the building, along with the other two buildings of the Cathedral Group, were renovated in 2008. The Department of Visual Arts occupies the Cathedral Group's southwest and southeast buildings, as the renovation was completed in Spring 2012.

HutchesonNorth Hall (Hutcheson Hall) - North Hall was completed in two phases. Phase I was completed in 2004 and consisted of central common areas and the east wing that houses 110 students. Phase II built the west wing, which currently houses 80 students. Originally, plans were made to construct the remaining wing after the campaign. However, a generous gift to complete North Hall was announced October 7, 2007, and the second wing was completed in 2008. The hall was renamed “Hutcheson Hall” in 2012 after longtime JBU supporters Bill and Dede Hutcheson.


BPACBerry Performing Arts Center - In 2008, JBU alumni Bill and Donna Berry made a $5 million lead gift commitment toward the construction of a the new 500 seat auditorium and performing art center at JBU. The Bill and Donna Berry Performing Arts Center is a venue for JBU theater productions, music recitals and performances, speakers and lecturers, small chapel programs, large campus meetings, and other special campus events.

The 28,000-square-foot facility provides much needed performance space for the university. The Berry Performing Arts Center allows JBU to showcase and enjoy the musical and theatrical skills of JBU students, faculty and outside performers. It also provides a wonderful alternative venue for speaker, lectures, and other campus meetings.

Since it's opening in Fall 2010, the building has played host to midnight movies, faculty meetings, special chapels, marriage seminars, one-act performances, large dramas, choral concerts, performing artists, chamber orchestras and more.

Bill GeorgeBill George Arena - Since opening in the Fall of 2010, the $9.5 million Bill George Arena has been given quite the workout.

Before the 38,000 square-foot Bill George Arena was complete, JBU hosted athletic and campus-wide events in either the Cathedral of the Ozarks or the 50-year-old Murray Sells Athletic Center.

Since it's opening, two huge chapel programs benefited from the extended seating capacity. JBU hosted speakers Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes. If these services had been held in the Cathedral, people would have been turned away. Approximately 1,500 attended the Mycoskie event and 1,800 attended the Franklin Graham event.

balzerLee and Alice Balzer Technology Center - On February 2, 2010, the university announced that an anonymous lead gift of $8 million would help fund the construction and endowment of the $11 million Balzer Technology Center.

This 40,000-square-foot facility houses John Brown University’s growing engineering, construction management and renewable energy programs in one state-of-the-art location.

The building has approximately 25,000 square feet of classroom and office space with another 15,000 square feet of laboratory space. Because of the addition of this building project, JBU was able to expand the Keeping Faith Campaign from $100 million to $110 million.

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  • August – Phase I of North Hall completed


  • July 1 – The Keeping Faith $100 Million Campaign was announced
  • October 8 - $10 million challenge announced. 


  • September 7 – University announces that the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. has given a $1 million challenge grant to kick off the fundraising efforts for major renovations the Cathedral Group. JBU has until July 2007 to complete the $6 million fundraising effort for this project in order to receive the Mabee gift.


  • January - $10 million challenge completed earlier than expected
  • March 14 - $20 million challenge announced
  • July – The Cathedral Group buildings receive limestone covering
  • October 7 – University announces plans to complete Phase II of North Hall.


  • April – JBU supports, Bill and Donna Berry, pledge $5 million in a lead gift towards the construction of a new performing arts building.
  • August – Kresge Dining Hall renovation ($1.3 million) completed as part of the Keeping Faith Campaign. 
  • August - North Hall Phase II completed; Cathedral Group renovations completed


  • September 2 – University breaks ground for a new sporting arena.
  • August 27 – University breaks ground for the new Bill and Donna Berry Performing Arts Center.


  • February 2 – The University announces plans to build a new engineering and construction management building after an anonymous $8 million gift was given to fund the new building. Because of the addition of this building project, JBU is able to expand the Keeping Faith Campaign from $100 million to $110 million.
  • September – The new Berry Performing Arts building is completed
  • September – New sporting arena, named the Bill George Arena, is completed and open to student use.
  • August – Construction on the Berry Performing Arts Center is completed.
  • August 16 – University breaks ground for the new 40,000 square-foot engineering and construction management facility.


  • April 6 – University announces anonymous $2.5 million gift given to fund renovation of Engineering Building into new art facility.
  • August 16 – University announces the completion of the historic Keeping Faith Campaign one year ahead of schedule and $18 million over the original goal of $100 million.
  • August 16 – New engineering and construction management facility, named Balzer Technology Center, opens to students


  • March 29 – Art building renovation completed, and the building is renamed “Windgate Visual Arts East”


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