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Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University
Motto Find Your Purpose
Established 1949
Type Private for-profit
President Brian Mueller
Administrative staff
Students 14,500 (on-campus) (2015); 75,200 (overall, including online students) (2015)[1]
Location 3300 W. Camelback Rd.
, Arizona, U.S.
Campus Urban
Newspaper GCU Today
Colors Purple, Black, White[2]
Athletics NCAA Division I
Western Athletic Conference
Sports 20 varsity teams
Nickname Lopes
Mascot Thunder the Antelope
Website .edu.gcuwww

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 [3] 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.


  • History 1
  • Campus 2
  • Colleges 3
  • Academics 4
    • Accreditation 4.1
  • Athletics 5
  • Notable alumni 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


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.[4]

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,[5] making it the first for-profit Christian college in the United States.[6]

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."[7] 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.[7]


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.[8]

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,[9] and a 5,000 seat arena. The GCU Arena, which opened on September 2, 2011,[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]


  • 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 offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees on its main campus in Phoenix and also online.[14] GCU was recognized as a top-five online school for entrepreneurs by Fortune.[15]


Grand Canyon University is accredited by The [3] GCU is also licensed by the Arizona State Private Post-Secondary Education.[16]

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. As a part of the MCLA, Grand Canyon won the 2015 National Championship as a club team. The 2015-2016 season is the third season for both the women's lacrosse team and the rugby team.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Brian Mueller is the rock helping Grand Canyon University roll" (PDF). Phoenix Business Journal. 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b [6]
  4. ^ [7]Accessed May 13, 2010
  5. ^ Tammi Reed Ledbetter, Grand Canyon Univ. sold; trustees in advisory role, Baptist Press, Feb 10, 2004, Accessed May 24, 2006
  6. ^ Bob Smietana, Christian Ed That Pays Off, Christianity Today, May 19, 2005, Accessed May 11, 2006
  7. ^ a b GCU to consider return to nonprofit status
  8. ^ Stanton, Alison (2006-10-11). GCU campus receives makeover. Arizona Republic, October 11, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-11-01 from
  9. ^ "Where to Eat? New Campus Options Already Popular | GCU Today". 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  10. ^ "A Year’s Wait Is Over: Welcome, GCU Arena! | GCU Today". 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  11. ^ Anderson, J. Craig (2010-03-23). Arizona Republic, March 23, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-05-13 from
  12. ^ Bob McClay. "GCU to expand seating at new arena". Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  13. ^ "GCU Approved Logos". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Top 5 e-schools, Fortune Small Business / CNN
  16. ^ "Accredited University | Grand Canyon University". Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  17. ^ "Anthony B UFC Profile". 
  18. ^ "Henry Cejudo Grand Canyon University Alum". Retrieved 2014. 
  19. ^ "Henry Cejudo UFC". Retrieved 2014. 
  20. ^ "Efrain Escudero UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014. 
  21. ^ [8]Accessed May 13, 2010
  22. ^ [9]Accessed May 31, 2010
  23. ^ [10]Accessed May 13, 2010

External links

  • Official website
  • Grand Canyon University Athletics website

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