Putting campus info in the palm of your hand

September 14, 2017 / by / 0 Comment
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Thousands of students and staff walk between the palms on the Promenade every day. (Photo by Keith Alstrin)

Editor’s note:  GCU INsider, a compilation of fun facts and pertinent information about the new academic year at Grand Canyon University, appears every August in GCU Magazine. To view the digital version of the magazine, click here.

How many palm trees are on the Promenade?

In case you’ve always wondered – and even if you haven’t – the number is 49. Which is interesting, because Grand Canyon was founded in 1949. Is that number by design, or is it just a coincidence … or fate? Well, keep in mind that the number can fluctuate depending on construction projects. But it sure worked out nicely.
INsider tip: “There are 350 palm trees on campus. We have them trimmed once a year, in early July after the seed pods have grown out. Some of the palms along Camelback Road probably are close to 50 years old.” — Christopher Crawford, landscaping manager

Campus construction seems a little quieter this summer. Anything big on the horizon?

Of course! There are plans to build two more apartment-style residence halls and a 2,400-car parking garage. More offices and classrooms also are a possibility. And it hasn’t been that quiet this summer: Diamondback Hall, a new six-story residence hall, was being completed, and work has progressed on the new stadium structures for baseball and softball and the expansion of the Lopes Performance Center.
INsider tip: “Having one of the top stadiums in the country will help us feel like we’re one of the top teams now, too.” — Sierra Smith, GCU softball team

A lot is happening around here, but what’s the busiest month of 2017-18?

This year it’s March. Homecoming will be later than usual – it’s scheduled for March 3 and coincides with the final regular-season men’s basketball game. The month also includes the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament March 8-10 in Las Vegas, Run to Fight Children’s Cancer on March 10, the Mr. GCU talent show on March 27, the Canyon Challenge entrepreneurial competition on March 28, and the Senior Banquet, honoring outstanding students and faculty, on March 29.
INsider tip: “Hundreds of alumni come to GCU basketball games – and not just in Phoenix. ‘Lopes on the Road’ invites GCU fans to road games nationwide where they can enjoy refreshments and cheer on the Lopes. This year, there are 12 events in 11 cities.” — Liz Conwell, Alumni Relations manager

How do they pick the schedule of Ethington Theatre plays?

College of Fine Arts and Production Dean Claude Pensis says his team seeks a diversity of genres, a variety of types of works that will aid students in their various programs and works that will entice the entire student body. “Most important, we look for material that reflects our mission as a Christian university and is edifying,” he says. “Given all of these conditions, we then meet and start by brainstorming a large number of titles. After that, it is a winnowing process that takes a great deal of thought and discussion in order to arrive at the final lineup.”
INsider tip: “I have seen them take down a set the Monday after closing weekend, and Tuesday they are back at it building the next one!” — Vanessa Jones, COFAP program coordinator

What’s on the menu in campus food?

The top floor of Thunder Alley will be turned into a large market featuring fresh, healthy food. Over in the Student Union, Slices will offer made-to-order pizzas.
INsider tip: Brett Cortright, manager of the Canyon 49 Grill, reminds students that they can use their Dining Dollars at the Grill and can get there on one of the regular shuttles between the main campus and 27th Avenue. The Grill added some low-calorie options this summer.

What’s the lineup of Chapel speakers for the fall semester?

Chapel is at 11:15 a.m. Mondays in GCU Arena. First-time Chapel speakers are in bold:

Aug. 28: Brian Mueller, GCU President
Sept. 11: Ron Merrell, The Heights Church
Sept. 18: Warren Stewart Jr., Church of the Remnant
Sept. 25: Don and Renee Worcester, Young Life
Oct. 2: Dr. Tim Griffin, GCU pastor and dean of students
Oct. 9: Alan Shlemon, Stand to Reason
Oct. 16: Greg Boyle, Homeboy Ministries
Oct. 23: Terry Crist, Hillsong Church Phoenix
Oct. 30: Beth Guckenberger, Back to Back Ministries
Nov. 6: Noe Garcia, North Phoenix Baptist Church
Nov. 13: Brian Kruckenberg, New City Church
Nov. 20: Fall break (no Chapel)
Nov. 27: Danielle Rinnier, GCU Director of Spiritual Life
Dec. 4: Tom Shrader, Redemption Church
INsider tip: “We have a great balance of local and out-of-town pastors, some who have been coming to speak at GCU for years and some who are coming for the first time. Every week, Chapel will be filled with energetic worship and powerful messages from God’s Word that will inspire all who attend.” — Jared Ulrich, Spiritual Life Worship Manager

How many prospective students and their families formally visit the Antelope Reception Center?

In 2016, more than 34,000 visitors came through its doors, said Shannon Landers, Director of Campus Visitation and the ARC. All tours are done by student workers who are passionate about sharing their home with visitors, so much so that it runs through their own families. As the ARC enters its sixth year, siblings of previous tour guides are starting to come through the ranks.
INsider tip: “Getting on campus, experiencing the community and getting to meet a current student is a great experience. They’re the face of the University. They’re all amazing. It takes a certain talent and knack, and these kids are the hardest workers.” — Landers

What’s new with Campus Recreation?

It’s now its own office under the umbrella of Student Affairs. Matt Lamb, formerly the intramural manager, was elevated to Director of Campus Recreation, and his office oversees all the programs related to intramural sports, outdoor recreation and management, and programming of the fitness centers on campus.
INsider tip: “With the new expansion of the Lopes Performance Center, the second-floor student fitness areas will provide the largest space on campus for students.” — Lamb

What’s behind the enormous growth of the club sports program?

Participation has tripled in the last two years because it is a unique opportunity to compete against other colleges, improve under the direction of experienced coaches, use topnotch facilities, receive athletic training and maintain academic balance. There will be more than 1,000 students involved with more than 30 club teams this academic year. Coverage of the club teams’ successes and information on club coaches and fees are available at clubsports.gcu.edu.
INsider tip: “The program continues to thrive. That was shown in the spring when our men’s lacrosse team won its second national championship in three years and our club golf team was the national runner-up. This fall, we are looking forward to the debut of a women’s ice hockey team.” — Dan Nichols, Director of Club Sports

How involved are GCU employees in community outreach?

Last May featured the inaugural “Volunteer with a Purpose” employee fair, which introduced several hundred staff members to community organizations. GCU has a strong history of guiding students and employees to become socially responsible and compassionate servant leaders and selects community projects that are closely aligned with the University’s values and mission. In addition to the signature Habitat for Humanity home-improvement program, employees can volunteer their time to initiatives focused on youth, education, community development and human services. In the last 12 months, GCU employees donated more than 4,500 hours.
INsider tip: “It’s one thing to find your purpose, but sharing it with others is priceless.” — Debbie Accomazzo, GCU Communications Outreach Manager


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