Grand Canyon University

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Grand Canyon University
Motto Find Your Purpose
Established 1949
Type Private for-profit
President Brian Mueller
Admin. staff 1,600
Students 57,707
Location Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Campus Urban
Newspaper GCU Today
Colors Purple      Black      White     
Nickname Lopes
Mascot Thunder the Antelope

Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private, for-profit Christian university located in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. GCU was founded in 1949 as a non-profit liberal arts college, and was purchased by Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQLOPE) in February 2004.

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission[1] and provides campus-based as well as online postsecondary education services focused on graduate and undergraduate degree programs in education, liberal arts, business, and healthcare through its eight colleges: College of Business; College of Doctoral Studies; College of Education; College of Fine Arts and Production; College of Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Nursing and Health Care Professions; College of Science, Engineering and Technology; and College of Theology.


The college was founded as a nonprofit institution in 1949. Arizona Southern Baptists felt the need to establish a faith-based institution that would allow local Baptists the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor's or Master's degree without going east to one of the Baptist colleges in Texas or Oklahoma. On October 8, 1951, Grand Canyon College relocated to its current location in Phoenix.[2] First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix donated the land necessary for the institution, and several members of that church, led by the Reverend Vaughn Rock and S. F. Hawkins, donated the finances and physical labor needed to bring G.C.C, as it was known, into reality. Grand Canyon College was renamed Grand Canyon University in 1989.[citation needed]

Suffering financial and other difficulties in the early part of the 21st century, the school's trustees authorized its sale in January 2004 to California-based Significant Education, LLC,[3] making it the first for-profit Christian college in the United States.[4]


In 2006, the Grand Canyon University campus received a US$150 million makeover including a brick promenade, an aquatics center, with pool and hot tub, and a café offering an assortment of games and big-screen televisions.[5]

In 2009, Grand Canyon University's campus began work on a $60 million campus expansion project which includes a 500-bed dormitory, a 55,000-square-foot (5,100 m2) fitness and recreation center, 125-classroom facility, food court and bowling alley,[6] and a 5,000 seat arena. The GCU Arena, which opened on September 2, 2011,[7] is utilized for secular and non-secular concerts, speakers, and events, as well as being home to Grand Canyon University's Men's and Women's basketball teams, and Women's Volleyball games, beginning in the fall of 2013.[8] The three-year old arena is already undergoing major expansion beginning in Spring of 2014 with the goal of expanding to about 7,000 seats.[9]

Two new residence halls opened in the fall of 2012, Sedona Hall and Camelback Hall, each with 500 beds.[citation needed] Two additional residence halls opened in the fall of 2013, Chaparral Hall and Saguaro Hall. Major upgrades have been made to the Student Union building, transforming the structure to a four-story building with two library floors, one Starbucks floor, and another cafeteria floor. Another apartment-style residence hall is scheduled to open Fall of 2014.


Grand Canyon University was recognized as a top-five online school for entrepreneurs by Fortune.[10]


Grand Canyon University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, a regional accrediting body.[1] GCU is also licensed by the Arizona State Private Post-Secondary Education.[11]

Grand Canyon University, through its College of Business, is nationally accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Arizona State Board of Nursing accredit the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. Finally, the Arizona State Department of Education has given formal approval of the work done at the University for the certification of elementary and secondary teachers and for the renewal of certificates.


Gcu 'lopes logo.jpg

Grand Canyon University is currently a member of NCAA Division I with most sports participating in the Western Athletic Conference. Men's Volleyball competes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association In March 2013, former Phoenix Suns shooting guard Dan Majerle was hired as the 13th men's basketball coach. Majerle also will oversee GCU's transition into NCAA Division I basketball, in the WAC. GCU will be eligible for the postseason starting in the 2017-2018 season.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  2. ^ [2]Accessed May 13, 2010
  3. ^ Tammi Reed Ledbetter, Grand Canyon Univ. sold; trustees in advisory role, Baptist Press, Feb 10, 2004, Accessed May 24, 2006
  4. ^ Bob Smietana, Christian Ed That Pays Off, Christianity Today, May 19, 2005, Accessed May 11, 2006
  5. ^ Stanton, Alison (2006-10-11). GCU campus receives makeover. Arizona Republic, October 11, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-11-01 from
  6. ^ "Where to Eat? New Campus Options Already Popular | GCU Today". 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  7. ^ "A Year’s Wait Is Over: Welcome, GCU Arena! | GCU Today". 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  8. ^ Anderson, J. Craig (2010-03-23). Arizona Republic, March 23, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-05-13 from
  9. ^ Bob McClay. "GCU to expand seating at new arena". Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  10. ^ Top 5 e-schools, Fortune Small Business / CNN
  11. ^ "Accredited University | Grand Canyon University". Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  12. ^ "Henry Cejudo Grand Canyon University Alum". Retrieved 2014. 
  13. ^ "Henry Cejudo UFC". Retrieved 2014. 
  14. ^ "Efrain Escudero UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014. 
  15. ^ [3]Accessed May 13, 2010
  16. ^ [4]Accessed May 31, 2010
  17. ^ [5]Accessed May 13, 2010

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°30′45″N 112°7′48″W / 33.51250°N 112.13000°W / 33.51250; -112.13000