By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Bill and Jenny Knotts and their four children are tied to Grand Canyon University in so many ways, the family tree is purple and the branches reach all across the community. First, their oldest daughter, Brittany, went to GCU. She was followed by younger sister Andrea. Then brother Trevor. Then the baby in the family, Chelsea.
Four for four. Three graduates, one current student. Once the others saw the experiences Brittany was having at GCU, the path from their former home in nearby Chandler, Ariz., was clear.
“The family’s very tight,” said Bill, whose uncle was actor Don Knotts and who now is Executive Pastor of Heights Church in Prescott, Ariz., “and all four wanted to stay close to home.”
Brittany arrived on campus in 2003 and was one of the first students to live in Hegel (now Cypress) Hall. She got her education degree and now teaches second grade, and she gave birth to her third child in January.
Andrea was in the nursing program and now is a paramedic in the emergency room at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Trevor got a business degree from GCU and was a highly visible figure on campus – he was vice president of the Havocs and also was Thunder for three years. But now he’s in a much more serious role: He’s a Phoenix police officer. His wife, Rachael, also is a GCU grad.
Chelsea could have gone to another college, but her memories of family picnics on the grass where GCU Arena now stands were too vivid. She’s a junior majoring in nursing, just like Andrea.
“I saw my siblings and all the great things they did at GCU,” she said. “I looked at other schools but kept coming back to GCU. I loved the environment and the Christian atmosphere.”
Trevor had wanted to be a police officer since he was in high school, and his selfless attitude of servant leadership is right out of the GCU handbook. “If I do it, it means someone else doesn’t have to,” he said. “I’m very service-minded. It’s just how I was raised.”
And Trevor also noted that GCU’s spirit of community outreach had a noticeable effect on all four kids: They all want to help in the community. “GCU taught us to love Phoenix,” he said.
Basketball games have become, as Brittany put it, “a really neat family tradition for all of us and all of our kids, too.”
Her 6½-year-old son, Ryan, already has his college picked out.
Guess which one.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.