Grand Canyon University
|Grand Canyon University|
|Motto||Find Your Purpose|
|Students||15,000 (on-campus) (2015); 68,122 (overall, including online students) (2014)|
|Location||Phoenix, Arizona, USA|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I
Western Athletic Conference
|Sports||20 varsity teams|
|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. (NASDAQ: LOPE) in February 2004.
Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission 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.
The college was founded as a nonprofit institution in 1949 in Prescott. 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. 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.
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, making it the first for-profit Christian college in the United States.
In the fall of 2014, with the school in a better place financially, it announced the exploration of a return to non-profit status on October 29. The university's president and CEO, Brian Mueller, said in a statement: "We do not have a philosophical issue with having a for-profit status and having investors. However, the stigma surrounding the for-profit industry – some of which is deserved, and some not – is real and it is not improving. And no matter what GCU does to separate itself, its detractors continue to try to use this stigma to detract from GCU’s success." Mueller has noted that GCU has been immune to a lot of the problems associated with for-profit colleges, mainly because of its regional accreditation.
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.
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, and a 5,000 seat arena. The GCU Arena, which opened on September 2, 2011, 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. 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.
Two new residence halls opened in the fall of 2012, Sedona Hall and Camelback Hall, each with 500 beds. 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 Peet's Coffee & Tea floor, and another cafeteria floor. An apartment-style residence hall, the Papago Apartments, opened in fall of 2014 along with another traditional residence hall, Ocotillo Hall. GCU also purchased the nearby Mesquite Apartments and opened them as student living facilities. The university has four new six-story residence halls planned to open in the fall of 2015 on newly acquired land on the northeast part of campus.
Freshman can choose from the following 7 residence halls:
- Acacia Hall (New in 2015)
- Canyon Hall
- Hegel Hall
- Ironwood Hall (New in 2015)
- Juniper Hall (New in 2015)
- Ocotillo Hall
- Willow Hall (New in 2015)
Upperclassmen have the option of living in a residence hall or an apartment complex.
- Camelback Hall
- Chaparral Hall
- Prescott Hall
- Saguaro Hall
- Sedona Hall
- North Rim Apartments
- Papago Apartments
- Roosevelt Point Apartments (remote housing)
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- College of Education
- College of Doctoral Studies
- College of Fine Arts and Production
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
- College of Theology
- Colangelo College of Business
- College of Science, Engineering, and Technology
Grand Canyon University was recognized as a top-five online school for entrepreneurs by Fortune.
Grand Canyon University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, a regional accrediting body. GCU is also licensed by the Arizona State Private Post-Secondary Education.
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.
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. It is the only for-profit institution at the NCAA's Division I level. 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.
GCU also has a range of competitive club sports teams such as Men's and Women's Lacrosse and Rugby. Although the Men's lacrosse team has been a part of GCU athletics for some time, GCU did not include the sport in its jump from NAIA to NCAA. The 2014-2015 season is only the second season for both the women's lacrosse team and the rugby team.
- Henry Cejudo, Freestyle Wrestler, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the UFC
- Efrain Escudero, NJCAA All-American wrestler; professional mixed martial artist, winner of The Ultimate Fighter 8, UFC Lightweight
- Mike Evans, author, journalist, and commentator
- Bayard Forrest, professional basketball player; he led Grand Canyon to the 1975 NAIA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament where they won the championship 
- Horacio Llamas, professional basketball player
- Moriah Peters, CCM singer-songwriter
- Cody Ransom, professional baseball player
- Tim Salmon, professional baseball player
- Ron Polk, baseball coach
- James R. White, author and Christian theologian
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- Accessed May 13, 2010
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- Bob Smietana, Christian Ed That Pays Off, Christianity Today, May 19, 2005, Accessed May 11, 2006
- GCU to consider return to nonprofit status
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- "Where to Eat? New Campus Options Already Popular | GCU Today". News.gcu.edu. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
- "A Year’s Wait Is Over: Welcome, GCU Arena! | GCU Today". News.gcu.edu. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
- Anderson, J. Craig (2010-03-23). Arizona Republic, March 23, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-05-13 from http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2010/03/23/20100323grand-canyon-univ-expand-phoenix.html.
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- "GCU Approved Logos". Retrieved 2014-10-30.
- Top 5 e-schools, Fortune Small Business / CNN
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