JBU Opens Studio and Project Space for Art and Engineering Students

Art and Engineering Remain Top Majors Among New Students

John Brown University held the first classes this week in the Peer-Andrus Studio and Project Barn, a 16,800-square-foot facility that provides essential studio and project space for art and engineering students. The two programs are among JBU’s top five majors. Of the 373 freshmen and transfer students who began classes at JBU’s main campus on Wednesday, 34 are engineering students and 17 are studying graphic design.

“We are blessed with dynamic art and engineering programs that continues to be popular among new students who seek a holistic education that combines faith-based learning with hands-on experience,” said Don Crandall, vice president for enrollment management. “The Peer-Andrus Studio and Project Barn sets us apart from many colleges as it will better equip our students with professional and personal success through project-based and experiential learning.”

The $3.25 million facility is named after Charles Peer, retired professor of visual arts, and Dave Andrus, professor of visual arts and department head, who together founded JBU’s Visual Arts program in 1990. The Visual Arts program is one of the largest JBU programs with students majoring in graphic design, art and illustration, digital cinema and photography.

The art section of the building includes a space for commercial photography and video shoots, a wood shop and three large project areas. For the fall semester, five art classes, which include drawing I, figure drawing, oil painting I & II and commercial studio photography, will be held in the newly built facility. The engineering section includes one large project area with 17 flexible workstations for engineering students.

“Our current engineering students are building and testing a variety of projects from new designs for model airplanes and wind turbine blades to a mining robot built to drill and extract Martian rock samples and used to participate in NASA’s annual competition,” Juan Rodriguez, instructor of mechanical engineering, said. “The new building houses these projects, allows students the flexibility to work on multiple projects at once and creates an environment with a quick turnaround between designing, building and testing.”

The building was the newest initiative of JBU’s $125 million Campaign for the Next Century, which is scheduled for completion in 2019 during the university’s centennial.

The incoming class, made up of 42 percent men and 58 percent women, brings students from 29 countries and 23 states, most commonly from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri. Enrolling students from countries like Germany, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico and Nicaragua, the class of 2022 was awarded close to $5 million in scholarships and financial aid. The class’ top five majors include engineering, nursing, biology, psychology and graphic design.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2018), JBU enrolls more than 2,500 students from 41 states and 50 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including business administration, graphic design, engineering, construction management, counseling, teacher education and nursing.