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JBU receives $1.5 million challenge grant

The Mabee Foundation recently awarded a $1.5 million challenge grant to John Brown University, with funds designated for the construction of the new Health Education Building, nursing endowment, Walton Lifetime Health Complex renovations and the JBU Scholarship Fund.

In order to receive the grant, the University must first raise $5.2 million for those three projects by June 2016. All are a part of the University’s Campaign for the Next Century, a capital campaign announced last year that is set to be completed by the University’s centennial in 2019.

“It’s very helpful to encourage donors,” Vice President for University Advancement, Jim Krall, said. Krall is excited to receive the Mabee challenge grant, and hopes that it will help encourage donors to give in the next year in order to meet the goal.

Krall explained that, to receive the grant, the University had to apply earlier this year in May. After considering the proposal, the Foundation awarded the grant to the University in late summer. The grant was made public last week.

“The President was instrumental in writing the proposal,” Krall said of University President, Chip Pollard.

“The Mabee Foundation has been a friend and partner of excellence in Christian higher education at JBU for decades,” President Pollard said. “We are deeply grateful for this challenge grant, which will inspire others to participate in our mission to empower students to honor God and serve others.”

The Mabee Foundation has been a significant donor at the University, with funding from the organization going toward many buildings on campus including the Cathedral Group, Berry Performing Arts Center, Bill George Arena, Soderquist Center and Walker Student Center.

The Foundation, based in Tulsa, Okla., serves “Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals and other organizations of a general charitable nature” in the surrounding states. Since its foundation in 1948, it has paid more than $1 billion in grants to such institutions and organizations.

The University is already seeing improvements in the Health Education building construction and the WLHC renovations. In addition, the JBU Scholarship Fund will benefit from the grant, with funds going directly to students and aiding more than half of the student body.