Family matters: 2 + 3 = 2 frazzled alumni

March 30, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

By Rick Vacek
GCU Today Magazine

All you need to know about what life is like for J.J. and Genny Rafferty, Grand Canyon University Class of 2003, is that they have an 8-year-old daughter, a 6-year-old son and triplet boys who are 2. Their interview had to be conducted via email because … well, this explains it:

“In the time it’s taken me to answer a few of the questions,” Genny wrote, “the triplets have managed to destroy the family room and some of my music that they discovered. But when there’s three, sometimes you have to let them destroy one room in order to clean another, or let them pull out all your pots and pans and drag them around on the tile floor in order to get any tasks done.

The Rafferty family

The Rafferty family

“I try to see the humor in it, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.”

The Raffertys, both 36, graduated with B.S. degrees in Music Education — Choral Emphasis. J.J. has been a teacher for 13 years and is director of choral activities at Greenway High in Phoenix, and Genny’s piano and voice studio has been going strong for 22 years.

They do manage to get to campus for basketball and baseball games (J.J. played baseball at GCU), and they like what they see.

“The campus has definitely changed for the better,” J.J. wrote. “While we loved the campus back in the day, it is beautiful now. There are so many places for students to hang out with each other.”

Genny wrote that their defining GCU moment came when they were touring with the choir in San Francisco and got word that Genny’s grandmother had died. The rest of the choir took up a collection that amounted to their exact plane fare. “I have never forgotten that incredible display of generosity and kindness,” Genny wrote.

Now they’re passing on that example by raising five children — and cleaning up one room at a time.

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or

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