commencement

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Coma to Commencement: Grad’s miraculous journey

April 28, 2022 / by / 2 Comments

Stefany Caicedo was in a coma for 49 days after a car accident in 2012. She had to learn everything again, from talking to walking. Ten years later, she stood in the sunshine outside GCU Arena with her Georgia family as the proud owner of a bachelor’s degree in educational studies. “God saved me from something horrible. I’m not supposed to be here. If he put this in front of me, I’m going to do this,” Caicedo said.

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Former basketball star to grads: ‘Let your light shine’

April 27, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Rehema Stephens could have rested on her laurels after an outstanding career as a basketball player, both as a scoring leader for UCLA and later in the WNBA. But she went on from that career to get three master’s degrees, the latest from GCU on Tuesday, when she was the speaker of the afternoon Commencement for College of Education master’s degree graduates. “Don’t settle, keep ascending,” Rehema said in an interview. “Once you find that area, that passion, success will find you and money will find you.”

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She left school to aid sister, returned to set example

December 21, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Aliyah Stanford always knew a college education was a ticket out of her circumstances. But she had to quit. Her younger sister was struggling and needed help. Stanford told her sister to come to Phoenix, where she would get her enrolled in high school and even drive her to basketball games. But it gnawed on Aliyah to return to her studies, and last Friday with her sister cheering her on, she graduated from GCU. “I just wanted to make a difference and be there for her,” Aliyah said. “I didn’t know if I’d ever go back to school. But I didn’t give up.”

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GCU went the extra mile this fall, and so did grads

November 16, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

The last of seven makeup Commencements was Monday, so it’s an opportunity to show just how GCU helped graduates make up for the pandemic’s delays, to make up for lost time and to make their mark on the world. Several thousand online students marched in waves onto campus with pride throughout the fall. The stories of people from all over the world reminded us of the determination of many who came to campus.

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After 40 years of valleys, woman commences to peak

November 02, 2021 / by / 2 Comments

Jo Harper waited 40 years to get her bachelor’s degree. She faced dyslexia, car accidents, alcoholism and many other challenges. So the Los Angeles woman, who celebrated her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Monday’s makeup Commencement, wouldn’t let Phoenix traffic deter her from hustling in late to sit down just before names were read. Harper said afterward that it was “the best I’ve felt in my life.”

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‘So you walk out with a degree and friends’

October 18, 2021 / by / 3 Comments

An unexpected thing happened on the journey toward walking the stage at GCU Commencement for a group of reading teachers from the East Valley. They became great friends. The group of 11 started their studies for the Master of Arts in Reading Education when the pandemic began, facing tough times of changing classroom arrangements and the shift from meeting in person to online for their GCU courses. Then they started to open up to each other about their struggles and celebrations, including two weddings. On Friday they accepted their degrees together, surrounded by new friends.

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When going got tough, counselor kept him going

October 15, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Andrew Campbell traveled from New York to GCU to walk the stage at Commencement on Friday morning. But afterward he wanted to thank a person he had never met in person. Annalit Crosby was his GCU Student Services counselor, and when he was ready to quit because he was overwhelmed with jobs, a family and studies, she helped him through. “I want to thank God for Annalit Crosby,” he said.

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Jamaican graduate hopes degree will impact others

October 18, 2019 / by / 5 Comments

For Jamaica native and now North Carolina resident Garfield Hyman, getting his bachelor’s degree in Applied Management always has been about making his journey worthwhile. He said his GCU instructors helped him on his online journey: “I found support, making the experience a really good one.”

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Commencement Day 2: Morning session

April 26, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by Takashi Sato Special for the GCU News Bureau Saturday morning’s full-house graduation of online students at Grand Canyon University was a heart-warming, triumphant event. And in a morning filled with bright moments, one of the highlights may have been when Diana Dichter, 73, who is in a wheelchair, received her first college degree.  

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Commencement Day 3: Afternoon session

April 26, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

Photos by Darryl Webb GCU News Bureau More smiles, cheers and proclamations of congratulations were on display during the afternoon session of the final day of spring commencement at Grand Canyon University.  

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