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As party celebrates Dalla Riva, prayer reverberates

May 03, 2019 / by / 1 Comment

There was one more order of business in the celebration of Jesse Dalla Riva’s amazing transformation from drug addict to GCU graduate: His Phoenix Rescue Mission co-workers wanted to throw a surprise party for him. They pulled it off in grand style Thursday afternoon at a celebration attended by a large group from the University, led by President Brian Mueller. “This so much reinforces my faith and what I believe about the God who created this,” Mueller said.

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Still going strong at 76 … 55 years between degrees

April 27, 2019 / by / 1 Comment

Stephen Taylor refuses to let his age (76) get in the way of his goal: He wants to help ex-convicts integrate back into society. When he received his master’s degree Friday morning, it came 55 years after his bachelor’s. “I got interested in life coaching and life skill stuff because I saw the direction of substance abuse and the direction it was going,” he said.

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Children inspired stay-at-home mom to get degree

April 27, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

After being a stay-at-home mom for most of her four children’s lives, Chalise Williams was inspired to go back to college after watching her children get their degrees. Williams traveled from New Jersey to Arizona to attend Friday morning’s online commencement ceremony, where she received her bachelor’s degree in behavioral health.

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Mother-son duo graduates side-by-side

April 27, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Melodee Breazeale and her son Patrick Jr. doubled their enjoyment of commence — they were side-by-side Friday morning as they both received their Master of Science degree in Psychology with an Emphasis on Industrial and Organizational Psychology. “I actually got to see my son right next to him while he was graduating. You can’t get any closer than that,” Melodee said.

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Slideshow: Spring commencement, Friday morning ceremony

April 26, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by David Kadlubowski GCU News Bureau The Friday morning ceremony at Grand Canyon University spring commencement featured 972 online graduates from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. To watch a full replay of the ceremony, click here.  

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Family photo frames fabulous four-year feat

April 26, 2019 / by / 1 Comment

There were plenty of proud parents in GCU Arena on Thursday for commencement, but none of them were as incredulous as Jesse Dalla Riva’s folks. Their worries of five years ago during his battle with drug addiction have transformed into stunned amazement about what he has accomplished. “It’s complete redemption,” said Jesse’s father, Frank.

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Grads bring Students Inspiring Students full circle

April 26, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

After three years of hard work and hundreds of hours of service, Grand Canyon University’s first Students Inspiring Students graduates walked across the commencement stage Thursday afternoon to receive their diplomas. Yenni Sanchez Perez received her Bachelor’s degree in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies, and Sean Oliver received his Bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies. “This is why we began the scholarship,” said Dr. Joe Veres, Vice President of Student Success. “This is probably the most rewarding commencement ceremony that I’ve been a part of.”

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Slideshow: Spring commencement, Thursday afternoon ceremony

April 25, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by David Kadlubowski GCU News Bureau The Thursday afternoon ceremony for Grand Canyon University spring commencement featured 824 graduates, from the College of Education and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. To watch the replay, click here.  

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GCU was the right move for this graduate

April 22, 2019 / by / 1 Comment

The graduates have a lot to say about their experience at the University, and they get to share those thoughts in My LopeLife. This week, GCU Today will share the essays of four of them, starting with Erin Honeycutt, whose piece was chosen for the April issue of GCU Magazine.

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How Jesse Dalla Riva became a guiding light

April 22, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Of all the commencement stories to come out of GCU in recent years, the metamorphosis of Jesse Dalla Riva probably is the most remarkable. Five years ago, he walked into a detox center determined to get off the streets — and off heroin. Now he’s a husband and father, is a supervisor at the Phoenix Rescue Mission and is about to get his degree. “He’s just worked so hard for it,” said his wife, Blake, fighting back tears. Reprinted from the April issue of GCU Magazine.

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