GCU’s Mueller wins national business award
Brian Mueller, Grand Canyon University’s president and CEO, has received a silver Stevie Award for Executive of the Year in the category of diversified service industries from the American Business Awards.
More than 3,300 entries were submitted across multiple categories, and 240 executives nationwide participated in judging to determine this year’s gold, silver and bronze Stevie Award winners. In 2013, GCU won the gold for Company of the Year in the diversified services category. The Stevie Awards are considered the business world’s version of the Oscars.
Mueller was recognized at an awards ceremony last Friday in Chicago for ushering in a new era for the University and making a quality education affordable and accessible to a growing student population.
In 2008, Mueller began transforming GCU from an entrepreneurial venture into a market-supported public company. His idea was to build an operational and financial model that would put a quality education within reach by keeping student costs low without relying on taxpayer subsidies. His plan brought stability to the University while bolstering enrollment and improving the school’s academic offerings online and on campus.
Since 2009, GCU has invested $400 million into its programs and student experience. Among the additions are classroom buildings and laboratories, dormitories, a new library and Student Union, and the 7,000-seat GCU Arena.
Under Mueller’s leadership, the University also reinvented its academic programs, investing $80 million in learning technologies and aligning the school’s curriculum with high-growth industries such as computer science, information technology and engineering. Such efforts helped GCU raise its admission standards – the average GPA for incoming freshmen is now 3.5 – and the school’s six-year graduation and retention rates also are trending upward.
GCU’s resurgence also created jobs: The school’s workforce has grown to approximately 3,000 from 500 in 2008.
GCU is ranked as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies and the No. 2 Best Small-Cap Company in America by Fortune and Forbes magazines, respectively. In addition, the University plays an integral role in the community, with a partnership of more than $1 million to strengthen the neighborhood surrounding its Phoenix campus and a groundbreaking free tutoring program to help underserved high school students improve their academic performance.