John Brown University to Accelerate Cybersecurity Program with Support from Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation

SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas (Jan. 9, 2024) – John Brown University will accelerate the growth of the university’s cybersecurity program and help develop local talent to meet workforce needs.

A $6.5 million grant from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation will establish an endowment with $3 million designated to fund student scholarships, $2 million for technology and $1.5 million for a full-time program faculty.

“There is a critical need for cybersecurity professionals in Arkansas,” said JBU President Chip Pollard. “JBU undergraduate and master-level students will benefit greatly from the dedicated faculty, the up-to-date software and hardware, and the scholarships this generous grant provides.”

In 2020, JBU became the only university in Northwest Arkansas to offer a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. In these early years, the program has approximately doubled its student numbers each fall.

“JBU’s holistic approach to education empowers our graduates to master not just the technical knowledge but also develop the ability to solve problems, think critically and communicate thoughtfully,” said Ted Song, Ph.D., chief innovation officer at JBU. “Industry leaders tell us that JBU graduates have the soft skills that make them great leaders as they grow in the profession.”

JBU’s bachelor of science in cybersecurity is available in the university’s traditional on-campus program and a fully online format designed for working adults.

The school also offers MBA and M.S. programs in cybersecurity, which students can start during their undergraduate studies and complete in just one additional year through JBU’s accelerated master’s program.

Song says that the 4 + 1 track has been vital in recruiting high school students interested in this growing industry.

The $6.5 million grant is the second-largest gift to JBU’s Steadfast Faith capital campaign. The campaign seeks to strengthen JBU’s mission for the future by raising $100 million for academic programs, construction projects, scholarships and operations. To date, JBU has received $67 million from donors. Read more about the campaign at

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked university (The Wall Street Journal) and top-ranked regional university (U.S. News), JBU enrolls more than 2,200 students from 37 states and 42 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers over 50 undergraduate majors, with top programs including nursing, psychology, business, computer science, construction management, graphic design, family and human services, and engineering. Eighteen graduate degrees are available in business, counseling, cybersecurity, and education.

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