Home is where his master’s and his heart both are

May 31, 2018 / by / 0 Comment

When it was time to choose a university for his work toward a master’s degree, Jeff Orr remembered his good experiences at Grand Canyon in the late 1980s.

Editor’s note: This story is reprinted from the April issue of GCU Magazine. To read the digital version of the magazine, click here.

By Rick Vacek
GCU Magazine

When Jeff Orr was considering where to get his master’s degree, he decided to go back to a place filled with good memories — albeit on a campus that is much bigger than what he knew. He went home … to Grand Canyon University.

Orr, a Phoenix leadership coach who was one of the speakers at the TEDx event on campus in February, transferred from another college to Grand Canyon and got his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in 1989.

“It really was God directing me through those kinds of circumstances — I ended up with a much better education, smaller class sizes, better grades,” he said. “That’s what drew me back, was that experience. I just had a draw to come back here.”

Orr, who has worked as a corporate trainer for Fortune 500 companies and is the author of “Succeed in the New Normal: Winning Strategies to Succeed in an Unfamiliar World,” completed work on his Master of Business Administration in January and now is working on his Master of Science in Leadership.

He also is an accomplished musician, thanks in part to his commercial music minor from GCU. He has released three CDs.

Here’s how different things were when he first was on campus: He was one of three people in his music class, and when the other two dropped out he was able to receive one-on-one instruction on “business, music, arrangements, everything.”

“I only wanted to do two things when I was growing up: Be a rock star and be a CEO of my own company. I guess I’ve kind of done both,” he said. “I’ve performed on large stages in front of thousands and I’ve performed in coffeehouses. I speak in front of groups and I run my own company.”

And he’s proving that you can go home again.

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or rick.vacek@gcu.edu.

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