Convocation Speaker Brown Praises GCU’s Core Values
By Doug Carroll
Once upon a time, you could have fooled William Brown, a native of Georgia, about Grand Canyon University.
“That school must have some of the most spectacular views you could imagine,” he remembers thinking after relocating to Arizona.
Brown, the president and CEO of Tallhouse Consulting, quickly learned that he was wrong about the University’s location. But he thinks the west Phoenix campus is positioned perfectly by the values and principles it imparts.
“Grand Canyon’s students are evidence of what the core of the University is about,” Brown said Thursday afternoon in his keynote speech to the joint convocation for the colleges of Nursing and Health Sciences at a packed Phoenix First Assembly of God Church in north Phoenix.
Addressing the colleges’ degree candidates, Brown called his folksy speech “Transition 101” and advised the new graduates to focus on dreams, collaboration and purpose.
“In college, I dreamed about my place in society, the contribution I would make and how I would want people to remember me,” he said. “Your dreams will lead you places. They are the beginning of miracles. Hold on to them with a passion and watch what happens.”
Calling himself “a cassette-player dude” in a world of email, text messaging and Facebook, Brown said there is no excuse in a technological age for a lack of collaboration. And he said there’s a foolproof way of knowing whether you’ve found your purpose: “It captivates all of your senses.”
GCU’s well-known “Find Your Purpose” slogan certainly captivated him. From message boards at Phoenix Suns games to billboards around town to his own computer, he said he couldn’t get away from it.
“I thought, ‘Go Grand Canyon, go Grand Canyon, you’re all over the place!’” Brown said.
Although Brown’s company works with small nonprofit organizations on opportunities for youth and young adults, he also has been involved with the GCU chapter of AzHOSA, the state organization for college students entering health-care occupations.
At a state HOSA event in April, nearly 20 students from GCU advanced to a national competition June 22-25 in Anaheim, Calif.
“This is the best HOSA chapter in the country,” Brown proclaimed. “It’s organized, it’s directed and it gets things done.”
As students in the audience rewarded him with a standing ovation, Brown left them with these words: “In your time and in your space, with the awesome power of God, make a difference.”
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.