SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KFSM) — John Brown University is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
The Wall Street Journal recently named it the highest-ranking university in Arkansas and thousands of people are expected to descend on John Brown University for its centennial birthday.
Not only is JBU celebrating its anniversary but also the culmination of its fundraising campaign, receiving $156 million exceeding its goal by more than $30 million.
Plus, raising more than $2 million for student scholarships.
“It’s going to be really cool just to see all the different alumni and all the different reunions. Even dream a little bit that’s going be me in many more years to come," JBU student Laura Merwin said.
This is believed to be one of the most extensive capital campaigns for a private university in Arkansas.
The school's centennial fundraising campaign has been in the works for seven years, raising enough funds to build eight new facilities and renovate 92% of campus.
The school was founded in 1919 by evangelist John Brown and was built on his property in Siloam Springs.
“He wanted to provide education for kids that could not afford to come to school. His real goal was to make education as affordable to as many students as possible," said Charles Pollard, President of John Brown University.
With what started as just 70 students and 10 faculty members has grown to more than 2,000 students from 36 states and 59 countries.
“I'm really excited to be a part of this legacy they have. How blessed am I to be here it just so happens on the centennial anniversary," JBU student Ben Rebmann said.
A time capsule will be unearthed, and a new generation will be able to bury new memories for the future.
“I remember as a student coming and taking a campus tour and hearing about the time capsule that was going to be opened at the 100-year celebration and I remember thinking that’s forever away and now that I'm a staff member and have been a part of planning that celebration it’s overwhelming," said Brad Edwards, JBU Director of Alumni and Parent Relations.