John Brown University announced today a matching scholarship grant of $1 million from the Windgate Foundation to be used for endowed scholarships. The gift is in honor of former JBU President John Brown III and his 25 years of service as executive director of the Windgate Foundation.
The university will add $1 million of undesignated gifts to the scholarship fund to honor Brown’s lifetime commitment to JBU, including 14 years as JBU president and 14 years on JBU’s board of trustees.
The combined $2 million challenge grants will match donations dollar for dollar up to a total of $4 million in new scholarship endowment. The new endowed scholarships will help students in financial need, with some preference for students whose parents are missionaries or in Christian ministry. JBU has a long history of students whose parents have served as missionaries, including 108 students from 32 countries this year. In the 2018-19 school year, $50 million in university endowed scholarships funded $2.1 million in scholarships for over 550 students.
“John has been the guiding hand behind Windgate Foundation for the past 25 years,” Windgate Executive Director Patricia Forgy said. “We will be forever grateful for John’s dedication, integrity and kindness in stewarding the foundation’s resources and responsibilities and are delighted to express our appreciation through this matching endowment. We are pleased JBU is joining us in honoring John’s service by including additional matching funds to benefit scholarships.”
John Brown III, the grandson of the university’s founder, served as president of JBU from 1979 to 1993. He became executive director of the Windgate Foundation in 1993, a role he filled until 2018. From 1995-2002 Brown also served two terms as a senator in the Arkansas legislature during which he authored and passed major legislation in juvenile justice, nursing home care, and education.
Brown continues to serve as a senior adviser to the Windgate Foundation and as trustee emeriti of JBU’s board of trustees, having served on the board from 2003 to 2017.
“We are deeply grateful to the Windgate Foundation for their generous support, and we are honored to join them in this endowed scholarship challenge to honor John Brown III,” JBU President Chip Pollard said. “He has done so much to serve JBU, Siloam Springs, Arkansas and the country through his work at the university, in the Arkansas senate and through the Windgate Foundation. There could not be a better way to recognize his service then creating scholarships for the next generation of JBU students who will influence the world.”