Siloam Springs, Ark (September 11, 1997) - John Brown University received official notification on Monday, Sept. 8, 1997, that its engineering program has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The accreditation completes JBU's qualification for a $1 million challenge grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

"John Brown University is committed to continuing its tradition of providing quality education to our students," said JBU President Lee Balzer. "The ABET accreditation is another mark of our commitment to provide a world class higher education at JBU."

JBU's engineering program was evaluated by the engineering accreditation commission, EAC/ABET, during the last accreditation cycle. ABET determines if an institution meets its standards for accreditation by reviewing the university's extensive self study describing the engineering program and support functions. The EAC assigns a team that validates the self study during a two-day site visit and subsequent interactions.

Dr. Kenneth French, JBU Engineering Department Chair, said that the ABET accreditation was the culmination of a long process.

"This achievement represents a strong effort from almost every sector of the University community," he said. "We are honored to receive this notification."

The challenge grant was pledged by the Walton Family Foundation on Sept. 4, 1992. The pledge required that JBU attain ABET accreditation for the engineering program, and that the university raise at least $250,000 for the creation of a new endowed fund for engineering division equipment. With these requirements met, this gift will support engineering equipment and a faculty position. "JBU is both excited and humbled by the generosity of the Walton Family Foundation," said Balzer. "The foundation challenged JBU to attain accreditation status with ABET and to raise funds to endow the program. We accepted the challenge and we are very pleased to say that we believe the university and the foundation have achieved their objectives."

The ABET-accredited general engineering program offers electrical and mechanical concentrations. JBU's engineering program can trace its roots back to the mid 1930s.

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