Gift to Endow Family and Relationship Studies Chair

Siloam Springs, Ark. (September 9, 2010) - An anonymous donor has given $2 million to John Brown University for the creation of a new endowed faculty chair. The gift brings the total given in the $110 Million Keeping Faith Campaign over the $100 million mark, the first time JBU has reached a nine-figure amount in a campaign.

The Dr. Gary J. Oliver Endowed Chair in Marriage, Family and Relationship Studies is named for Dr. Oliver at JBU. Dr. Oliver is a university and seminary professor, psychologist, author, executive director of the Center for Relationship Enrichment (CRE) and professor of psychology and practical theology at JBU. Dr. Oliver will also be the first person to hold this endowed chair.

“We are pleased to honor Dr. Oliver for his lifework of research, writing, teaching and speaking to encourage strong and healthy marriages, families and relationships,” said Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president. “We are also deeply grateful to God for the blessings from this anonymous donor and for reaching this milestone in the campaign. This endowment provides resources in perpetuity focused on one of the most critical building block of our society – the family.”

Over time, the endowment will provide for the full-time chair position, in addition to providing resources for the CRE and teaching in JBU’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

“The study of families and relationships teaches us how to support healthy families and how to heal broken relationships,” said Dr. Oliver. “I am humbled to know that thanks to this generous gift, the important work we do will continue long after my tenure.”

A biography on the lifework of Dr. Oliver can be found at

In the Keeping Faith Campaign, JBU is seeking to raise $50 million for annual and endowed scholarships, $20 million for operations, and $40 million for construction and renovation projects, including three new buildings: the Berry Performing Arts Center (opened this fall), the Bill George Arena (opened this fall) and the new Engineering Construction Management building (opening in Fall 2011). For more information on the campaign, please visit The campaign is currently in the sixth of its seven years.

“What a blessing that so many alumni and friends of JBU give generously,” said Dr. Jim Krall, vice president for advancement. “That so many in our greater community have keep faith with JBU through their gifts speaks to the strength of our mission of Christ-centered higher education.”

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