Story and photos by Ryan Kryska
GCU News Bureau
Grand Canyon University took center stage Friday morning on local news as AZFamily 3TV visited campus for multiple live segments.
3TV reporters Javier Soto and Olivia Fierro arrived at 7 a.m., in time to witness the relentless Welcome Crew volunteers move in the last of GCU’s record-breaking enrollment.
“I got to tell you, I’ve been to universities, I’ve been to move-in days,” Soto said. “The excitement here, you can feel it, and I think that’s what’s awesome about GCU.”
The Thundering Heard Pep Band, Dance team, Cheer team and the Havocs — a tireless bunch of Lopes — followed the live segments into the heat all morning.
Soto and Fierro interviewed President Brian Mueller, Phoenix business icon Jerry Colangelo, men’s soccer coach Schellas Hyndman, students and various others, and they even tried some white pizza and Baja shrimp ceviche from Canyon 49 Grill’s new menu.
“These kids are on a whole other level,” Soto said, “and I think that has a lot do with the curriculum and the faculty getting them to buy into it where they have their own thought process. They are thinking beyond the information that they are learning, and that’s really a reflection of what GCU is all about.”
Colangelo stopped by for an interview before touring the brand new Colangelo College of Business, set to open for the start of classes Monday.
He said it’s an honor, “humbling,” to have the college named after him.
“You know, you’d have to get up earlier than (the students) do just to try to stay up with them. That’s amazing,” Colangelo said. “And if you’re ever down, just come over to the campus and your spirits will be lifted. There’s great enthusiasm. These young people are full of life, looking forward to the future, and it’s fun for me to be a part of it.”
Havocs Co-President Shelby Langston, an Honors College marketing senior, said the hype on campus this week has been so intense that not even Thursday night’s power outage at Lope-A-Palooza could dampen spirits.
“It’s so fun,” Langston said. “We are really introducing all the freshmen to GCU athletics. We have such an amazing spirit program here.”
Asked what she thought was going through parents’ minds this week, Langston said: “That there’s no place like this, anywhere else.”
The Welcome Week festivities continue Friday at GCU Stadium when the Lopes women’s soccer team plays Houston Baptist at 4 p.m. and the men’s team plays No. 12-ranked Wisconsin at 7 p.m.
Fittingly, the 3TV reporters wrapped up their morning coverage by interviewing Hyndman and two of his players, including senior Alex Ramirez.
“That was fun,” Ramirez said. “I wasn’t expecting anything that crazy with all the cheerleaders out here. It was awesome to be on live TV.”
Ramirez says he and his teammates are looking forward to one thing Friday night — a win in front of their rabid fan base.
“The fans and everybody, the whole student body, they are the ones who give us an extra boost when we are tired,” Ramirez said. “That 90th minute, we need a last run, last goal, they are the ones that are going to push us and get us out there with all their cheering. They’re everything.”