John Brown University will unveil the “Angel of Vision” sculpture Saturday, Oct. 8 at 10:30 a.m. on JBU’s main campus to honor Sam and Helen Walton for the Walton International Scholarship Program.
Every year, the Walton Scholarship Program awards 60 students from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Mexico a full-ride scholarship to attend one of three Arkansas institutions: John Brown University, University of the Ozarks or Harding University. In exchange, students commit to return to their home countries after graduation to make a profound difference in their local communities for four years.
“JBU is deeply grateful to partner with the Walton Scholarship Program to provide students with a quality education to become successful agents in serving God and others,” Alfonso Méndez, JBU’s Walton Scholar alumnus ’88 and board member, said. “The sculpture will serve as a physical reminder of the lasting impact the Walton family and program has had on JBU’s international alumni and students.”
The Walton family launched the Walton International Scholarship Program in 1985 to encourage bright Central American and Mexican students to study in the U.S. and learn the principles of democracy and free enterprise.
Thirty years since its conception, JBU has graduated over 400 Walton Scholars with most earning degrees in engineering, business, science, communications and graphic design.
“Daily I interact with bright talented young people who have the hunger to learn and grow in their faith,” Ron Johnson, JBU’s Walton Scholarship Program director, said. “The Walton family, through the program, have gifted hundreds of students with an education, and now the JBU Walton Scholar alumni have gifted the sculpture because they’ve experienced how the program can change lives.”
The “Angel of Vision” sculpture, made by internationally known artist José “Pepo” Toledo is part of Toledo’s six-piece collection “Angels.” Born and raised in Guatemala City, Toledo envisioned his collection as a symbol of peace to other countries on behalf of Guatemala. Other “Angel of Peace” sculptures are located in Washington D.C., Guatemala City, Germany and El Salvador.
“In my series, ‘Angels’ are sculptures in which the spectator can visualize a basic structure sustaining itself, repeating and fracturing into similar shapes when scaling them up or down, agreeing with fractal geometric principles,” Toledo said.
Funded by donations from Walton Scholar alumni and friends, the “Angel of Vision” will be unveiled on JBU’s main campus in the central sidewalk promenade near Walton Lifetime Health Complex.
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, 2017), JBU enrolls more than 2,600 students from 40 states and 37 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, degree completion and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 39 majors, with top programs including business administration, graphic design, engineering, construction management, counseling, teacher education and nursing.