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Hall of Famer remains modest about GCU legacy

May 15, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

It seemed like only a matter of time before L.E. “Sharky” Baker would add Grand Canyon University Hall of Fame inductee to his long list of accomplishments. He graduated from GCU back in 1956 with a degree in Physical Education and Social Studies and went on to not only be a teacher/coach for several high schools but also a principal, Payson Unified school district superintendent, the president of GCU’s alumni association and scholarship foundation, and a regular at GCU sports events. “He loves the University,” said his wife, Leona. “He said, ‘I am what I am today because of GCU.’”

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Teaching philosophy with real-life schools of thought

May 09, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Dr. Gary Osmundsen and Dr. Rich Holland both teach philosophy, which they view as a subject that has practical implications across a variety of subjects that confront students. But they also teach about life through their own examples — Osmundsen has completed four marathons, including Boston twice, and Holland recently was interviewed on a national podcast regarding his book, “Good Arguments.” “Philosophy is really practical,” Osmundsen said. “Good critical thinking generalizes in all domains, not just sports.” Holland calls philosophy “the Christian’s best friend.”

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Mobile laundry cleans up at GCU’s Canyon Showcase

May 08, 2019 / by / 1 Comment

Students at Victory Collegiate Academy wanted to build a tiny house as a project. But they wondered, how would a tiny house help their community? So, instead, they decided to tackle a problem they discovered at their school. They found out 30% of the students at the academy, which is in the heart of Maryvale, do not have access to running water. Their solution was to build the first free, mobile, laundry. The project won the school the Canyon Challenge Grant, presented Tuesday at the Canyon Showcase by K12 Educational Development. The school received $11,000, including last night’s $2,000 grant. It was just one of 20 projects by eight schools who participated in the Showcase in a “public display of learning” from three of the department’s education and STEM initiatives — the STEM Impact Grant, STEM Ready 1 and Canyon Inquiry.

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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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A new approach to computer programming

May 01, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

By the time computer programming majors graduate from GCU, they’ll do so with a multitude of apps in their arsenal. They start building their first web applications the first semester they’re here and don’t stop until their yearlong senior capstone project. Not only that, but they learn not just the standard two computer languages, instead delving into three primary computer programming languages. Few colleges, if any, break computer programming into its own discipline, separate from computer science; GCU does. Said Computer Programming Faculty Lead Mark Reha, “Here we have a nugget right in the palm of our hand because there’s no programs that I’m aware of — bachelor programs — in the entire United States that has this focus.”

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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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Commencement surprise was music to his ears

April 27, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

The most unusual scene of commencement played out Friday afternoon when a 14-man mariachi band performed for one of the graduates near the 33rd Avenue entrance to campus. It was the perfect surprise, but pulling it off was a challenge for the graduate’s fiancee as well as the Events team.

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No lei-ing low for these GCU nursing graduates

April 26, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Purple and white leis and necklaces intertwined with shells are popular accessories at commencement ceremonies, but Kathy Taula was sporting the all-time champion of leis Friday afternoon: garlands of white carnations and orchids and a flower garland of yellow carnations in her hair, plus a garland of dollar bills that covered at least a third of her face.

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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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