Employee Meeting highlights recent achievements, future goals

GCU President Brian Mueller addresses the Employee Meeting on Friday at GCU Arena.

Story by Rick Vacek
Photos by Mathew McGraw
GCU News Bureau

Grand Canyon University’s optimal performance during the pandemic and optimism for the future were on display Friday at the Employee Meeting in GCU Arena.

President Brian Mueller shared graphics, videos and words of gratitude and encouragement about the state of the University as employees of GCU and Grand Canyon Education gathered for the first time since 2019.

Mueller thanked employees for their dedication and shared his vision for the future.

“We have had an unbelievably blessed time here in spite of huge challenges,” he said, noting that GCU and GCE had no layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts and maintained annual raises, bonuses, promotions, new hires and full productivity even though nearly all of the staff worked from home for much of the last year and a half.

The effect on students has been equally important. Enrollment continued to grow while tuition for ground students was frozen for the 13th straight year, and GCU is prepared to welcome 9,000 new students for 2021-22, bringing total ground campus enrollment to 23,500.

GCU also has continued to expand its academic programs, emphases and certificates for online students, adding approximately 100 in the last three years. “It’s unparalleled how much work got done in the last three years to help people around the world advance their education,” Mueller said.

GCU’s Provost, Dr. Hank Radda, introduced the two new deans, Dr. Meredith Critchfield of the College of Education and Dr. Craig Detweiler of the College of Fine Arts and Production.

The community spirit on campus extends to the nearby neighborhood, and Mueller talked excitedly about the new partnership with CityServe that will bring furniture, appliances, tools and other goods to those in need. GCU is CityServe’s first distribution site, or HUB, at a university.

“It’s going to be a powerful witness to preach the Gospel through actions,” Mueller said.

The one-hour-plus event closed with spirited talks by basketball coaches Molly Miller and Bryce Drew and new men’s soccer coach Leonard Griffin.

“I’ve been waiting a year for this,” said Miller, who led the crowd in chants of “Dee-fense! Dee-fense!”

Griffin, whose team hopes to play before a crowd of 6,000-plus at GCU Stadium when it plays nationally ranked Saint Mary’s on Hispanic Heritage Night on Sept. 10, had a chant of his own for the employees to join: the “Ole” often sung at soccer matches, but with a “Lopes Up!” at the end.

In closing, Mueller again thanked employees for their hard work and again expressed his excitement about what’s to come.

“You are impacting thousands of lives in hundreds of ways,” he said. “But we’re only in the second or third inning.”

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].

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Bible Verse

"(Jesus) was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross." (Acts 2:23)

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