University Makes Big Splash With First Capitol Day

February 02, 2011 / by / 1 Comment

By Doug Carroll
Communications Staff

More than three dozen Arizona legislators lunched on Chipotle burritos and heard from GCU’s chief executive officer, Brian Mueller, and the New Life choir Tuesday on the State Capitol grounds, making the University’s inaugural Capitol Day a success.

A large tent festooned in purple and white near Jefferson Street and 17th Avenue in downtown Phoenix marked the spot where the University hosted legislators and their staffers for two hours, in an effort to raise awareness of GCU and its growing influence throughout the city and state.

House Speaker Kirk Adams (far right) poses with some of GCU's finest.

House Speaker Kirk Adams saluted the students, faculty and staff in attendance and spoke about the importance of private schools in the 21st century.

“Private schools have led the charge to meet the demands of the global economy,” Adams said. “They have not succumbed to old-school paradigms. They are positioned to identify students’ needs. They add a depth to our educational landscape.”

Adams, a Republican from Mesa, called GCU “one of a kind” and said “a business model that is student-centered is the key to sustainability.”

Mueller introduced a number of University officials, including President Kathy Player, Provost Cheri St. Arnauld, Chief Financial Officer Dan Bachus, Chief Operating Officer Stan Meyer and Executive Chairman of the Board Brent Richardson.

Also representing GCU were Deans Kimberly LaPrade (Education) and Mark Wooden (Health Sciences), Assistant Dean Juan Hernandez (Fine Arts and Production), student-body president Anthony Mann, and the cheer and dance teams.

In addressing the gathering, Mueller emphasized the niche filled by GCU.

GCU's New Life choir perform at the University's inaugural Capitol Day.

“Grand Canyon has two things that are integral to American success: a Christian foundation and a foundation in free enterprise,” he said.

“Private schools shouldn’t just be available to the upper classes in our country. They should be available to all, and we have shown that it absolutely can be done.”

More than 30 student leaders also attended the event and were transported to and from the Capitol by bus. Under the direction of Gabe Salazar, New Life sang stirring versions of “America the Beautiful,” “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Ashley Raposa, public affairs manager in GCU’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs, organized and coordinated the day’s festivities.

Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or

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One Response
  1. Alex Bridgeforth

    Sounds like a fun day. I know one of my classmates, Elise Hull, the student body Vice President went.

    Feb.02.2011 at 10:51 am
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