Q&A About Grand Canyon and the Northfield Campus

September 21, 2012 / by / 9 Comments

How is the donation of the Northfield campus being made?

The 217-acre campus is expected to be donated by Hobby Lobby to a 501(c)(3) charity, which is a supporting organization of the Grand Canyon University Scholarship Foundation. This organization intends to lease the property to Grand Canyon University.

What are Grand Canyon’s plans for the Northfield campus?

One of the buildings on the historic western Massachusetts campus founded by evangelist D.L. Moody.

If appropriate federal, state and regional approvals and accreditations are received, the campus is expected to open in the fall of 2014 with 500 students and 50 faculty and staff, growing to an enrollment of 5,000 students and faculty/staff of more than 600 by 2018. Grand Canyon expects to invest up to $150 million in the campus over a five-year period, which would help to stimulate the economy of western Massachusetts.

How will Grand Canyon fit into the town of Northfield?

Grand Canyon has a track record of building strong partnerships with city officials and community organizations in Phoenix. That sense of collaboration will work in Northfield, as well. Grand Canyon wants to enhance the quality of life in Northfield, not disrupt it, and it looks forward to a mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationship. The historic nature of the campus will be maintained.

How is Grand Canyon’s vision for the Northfield campus compatible with that of its 19th-century founder, evangelist D.L. Moody?

When D.L. Moody founded the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879, he spoke of giving “equal advantages to those shut out from education.” At Grand Canyon, students on campus pay an average of $7,800 per year in tuition after scholarships are factored in. This affordability has made a private, Christian education a reality for students who never thought they could afford one, and we believe the Northeast can benefit from such an institution in these challenging economic times. Grand Canyon’s vision is remarkably similar to Moody’s.

When is the gift expected to occur?

While Hobby Lobby has indicated its intent to gift the property to the supporting organization for the Grand Canyon University Scholarship Foundation, certain regulatory approvals must be received and various administrative and legal steps must be taken prior to the final gift occurring. The final gifting of the campus is expected to occur sometime before the end of 2012. 

When will Grand Canyon begin to develop the campus?

The supporting organization intends to enter into a long-term lease with Grand Canyon based on commercially reasonable, fair-market terms and conditions, immediately after it receives the gifted campus. At that point, Grand Canyon will have the right to begin developing the campus; however, it doesn’t currently anticipate beginning any development projects on campus until the spring or summer of 2013. Grand Canyon intends to work proactively with the local community in the development of the campus to ensure that the Moody legacy is preserved and the campus can continue to serve as a source of inspiration and pride for everyone.

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9 Responses
  1. Dick Peller

    Twice today, Mr. mueller stated that he hoped to enhance the Northfield town.
    In the statement published, it is said that “Grand Canyon wants to enhance the quality of life in Northfield.”
    I am interested in learning what aspects of life in Northfield Grand Canyon thinks need enhancing.
    Thank you.

    Sep.21.2012 at 11:54 am
  2. Barb P.

    I am very excited to learn of the great opportunity shared with Grand Canyon University through the donation of the Northfield campus. I know that Mr. Mueller has grown the Phoenix campus in a way that makes sense. Through his outreach and interactions in the community around the Phoenix campus, he has enriched the community. GCU has provided stable employment and a Christ centered University offering education and resources that were not previously available. He does not change the landscape or the “flavor” of the area, however, he does enrich and add to it.

    Sep.21.2012 at 1:11 pm
  3. Eric Hernando

    @Dick Peller
    Oftentimes small towns (Northfield is about 3,000 according to the 2010 census) can be anxious about the effects of a large college coming to town. While I cannot speak for Brian Mueller I understand his comment in that context. I understand him to be saying that he is aware of the possible negative impact this move can make on a town and will work to make sure they do not occur and that the formation of the new college on the old campus is beneficial to everyone and enhances the quality of life in Northfield rather than disrupt it. I do not think the comment was in any way indicating that anything about Northfield needed enhancing.

    Sep.21.2012 at 1:58 pm
  4. Stephen Seredynski

    Welcome to Northfield MA folks.

    Looking forward to working with you on projects that will benifit the greater Norhtfield Community.

    Stephen Seredynki
    Northfield Kiwanis Organizatino

    Sep.21.2012 at 3:28 pm
  5. Megan Werden

    This is very exciting. As a resident of Northield I just want to say this is a welcomed enhancement to Northfield! Thank you and welcome!

    Sep.21.2012 at 6:58 pm
  6. Telitha Lucier

    As an existing GCU Doctoral learner, and as a community member I’m excited by this news. My family has been in Northfield and the surrounding communities for generations. It’s a very special town, and one that plan to grow old in and eventually be buried in. I’ve flown to Phoenix a few times to enhance my online program through the in-person residency piece. While this has been a wonderful experience, it is cost prohibitive. By placing a campus here in Northfield, GCU has the ability to seek other passionate learners who may find the financial portion of the educational journey daunting.

    Sep.22.2012 at 7:44 am
  7. Emily

    Mr. Peller,

    As a resident of the Phoenix area, I can testify to the positive impact the culture of Grand Canyon University(GCU) would have on any community. Practical advantages include jobs, stimulated economy, and opportunity. Spiritually, what community wouldn’t benefit from more people praying for it, and people within the community living a life in prayer. The most obvious benefit being the opportunity for the best education at the most affordable price, closer to home.

    It is important to remember there does not have to be anything wrong with a community for it to get better.

    What a blessing for all involved!

    Sep.22.2012 at 11:25 am
  8. Kristen Therens

    There’s no way classes could start in the spring of 2013?

    Sep.25.2012 at 1:42 pm
  9. Tom Burbank

    Good things keep happening! I remember coming to GCU a few years back and thinking how strange it was that everyone was so happy to be here on campus. It changed me for the better! I hope Northfield can feel the same sense of community GCU has built here and ride the wave of good works that lay ahead. To those who doubt, just look at the main campus today compared to where it was just a few short years ago.

    Sep.26.2012 at 9:23 am
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