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JBU News
2-1-16
 
Governor Hutchinson Official medium
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (Feb. 1, 2016) — John Brown University announced this week Arkansas
Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be the inaugural speaker for the new Barnett Civic Leadership Speaker
Series. The series, focusing on Christian civic leadership, is funded by an endowment with a lead
gift from the Barnett family.
 
The series will bring prominent lecturers to address topics related to the intersection of faith and
public service. Gov. Hutchinson will speak on April 7 at 10:30 a.m. at JBU’s Cathedral of the
Ozarks.
 
The Ray and Laurine Barnett Civic Leadership Speaker Series is named for Ray Barnett, a World
War II veteran, minister and educator, and Laurine Barnett, lifelong volunteer for many Christian
and political causes. Mr. Barnett, who died in February 2015 at the age of 95, taught at JBU for
nine years. He and Mrs. Barnett, were married for 74 years and together have seven children, 19
grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Mr. Barnett also worked for 10 years as a salesman for
DaySpring Greeting Cards in Siloam Springs, where the couple made their home for the last 50
years.
 
“Our family believes that allowing young students to hear firsthand from the civic leaders who are
living their faith in public service will inspire future leaders to consider public service,” said
Jonathan Barnett, former state representative and highway commissioner. Jonathan, son of Mr.
and Mrs. Barnett, graduated from JBU in 1977.
 
The six-figure endowment, including family gifts, was established by donations from more than 20
organizations and individuals.
 
“We are deeply grateful for the generous gifts from the Barnett family and others in honor of Ray
and Laurine,” said Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president. “We look forward to hearing from Christian
leaders who are having a positive local and global impact.”
 
JBU currently plans on bringing a new speaker for the Barnett Series once every academic year.
 
 
 

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