JBU 100 Year History

John Brown University is celebrating 100 years of Christ Over All.

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, 2019), today JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 38 states and 53 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management.

1919-09-29 09:56:12

Founding of the University

John E. Brown, Sr., founded the university, originally dedicating it as "Southwestern Collegiate Institute."

1920-01-01 09:56:12

Southwestern is Renamed John E. Brown College

Friends trying to help raise funds for the school recommended it be renamed to give it more distinction. The name "John E. Brown College" was officially incorporated under the Arkansas state laws.

1920-08-01 09:56:12

J. Alvin Dorm is Dedicated

J. Alvin, known as “Uncle Alvin” around campus and the youngest brother of John Brown, was integral in the early years of JBU. In 1920, Jesse H. Jones donated $50,000 for the construction of the dormitory, and he gave the check directly to J. Alvin himself. The cornerstone was laid June 1, 1920, and the building was named by popular vote for the man who had been like family to so many students. J. Alvin is the oldest building on campus and has grown steadily over the years. In the 1950s, JBU renovated the dorm, modernizing the interior and constructing an entirely new wing. In 1985, a million-dollar renovation began to completely change the atrium, giving more of a “Holiday-Inn style,” and it became the focal point of J. Alvin. In 2014, JBU conducted the most recent renovation, gutting the old rooms, installing new plumbing, and updating the atrium and exterior.

1922-08-01 09:56:12

Cornerstone for California is Laid

In 1922, ground was broken for the California dormitory during the JBU's Bible Conference. This dormitory’s name reveals its connection to the state, as much of the funding for the building came from donors in California.

1924-08-01 09:56:12

Nearly all of Sulphur Springs is Purchased for JBU Establishment

John Brown, Sr., purchased a wide array of properties—hotels, storefronts, and businesses—which generated income in the summer and provided housing facilities.

1926-01-01 19:42:52

First Yearbook Printed

The Yearbook was originally titled the "Jebroco" and was a joint effort between both of John Brown's campuses.

1927-08-01 09:56:12

California Dorm is Dedicated

Nearly five years after groundbreaking, California was completed and dedicated, having been furnished with products constructed by the vocational students in the furniture factory. The dedication was a grand event, with over three thousand people in attendance. After the celebration, some guests were given the opportunity to stay in prepared rooms in the new building.

1930-08-01 09:56:12

Aumni "Hyde" Building is Dedicated

In 1923, a funding campaign began for a heating and lighting plant on the university campus. By Christmas Day of that year, when a generous donation was received, ground had already been broken for the new building. The building later served so many other purposes that it was sometimes referred to as "the queen" of the campus buildings.

1931-08-01 09:56:12

"Helen the First" M.O. Dorm is Built

Constructed from materials from the Southwestern building, the Helen the First Memorial was dedicated in 1934 to Helen Brown Hodge’s memory. Helen was John Brown Sr.’s second-born daughter and was an alumna of JBU.

1934-09-01 15:06:05

John Brown University is Established with Three Colleges

At this time, the articles of incorporation were amended. John E. Brown College, Siloam School of the Bible, and John Brown Vocational College were all a part of the university.

JBU 100 Year History

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