Graduation

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Retiring Dave Smith read grads’ names — and a lot of numbers

August 03, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Dave Smith was known as the name reader at every GCU graduation the past seven years. He had seven seconds to read the name card, and often there were names tricky to pronounce. Smith, who retires Monday as Director of Academic Excellence in the College of Education, had the reputation of a detailed man who could pull it off — and he did — along with the complex reports and data collection he helped produce as GCU grew over his 10 years here. “I’ve loved it. It’s probably the best job I’ve had,” Smith said. “I’m a very detailed kind of person, and it fits my personality.”

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Dance graduates glide into the professional world

June 26, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Breaking into the professional world can be difficult, especially in the arts. But even with their graduation from GCU fresh on their minds, several dance alumni already are thriving in their first big jobs. “I hope that the world receives them and loves them as much as we have here,” Dance Director Susannah Keita said. “I’m a proud dance mom.”

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Autism in family inspired her to get master’s degree

April 29, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

After starting as a business major in her freshman year of college, having two sons diagnosed with autism inspired Ember Freitas to pursue a degree that would enable her to help others like them.

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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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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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Passion for children motivates teaching graduates

May 01, 2017 / by / 0 Comment

Hundreds of College of Education students attended commencement Saturday afternoon to accept degrees that for them mean far more than a paycheck. Their degrees let them make the world a better place one child at a time. “It’s up to us to put in their minds positive thoughts. I want to be part of that,” said Leleatha Mitchell. “Each one, teach 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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