Brinkster began as a college student’s idea
but has since blossomed into a premier cloud
services provider with 50,000 customers
in 175 countries. Stauffer and his wife,
Christine, a former GCU accounting major
whom he fell in love with during campus
Move-In, grew the company into a leading
provider of cloud servers, cloud storage and
virtual desktop space that customers can
access from anywhere, and “white label”
cloud services that other businesses resell
under their own brand names. The company
lists itself among Amazon, Facebook and
Google as one of the only infrastructure-as-
a-service providers in the world with its own
proprietary hardware platforms.
“It grew out of a need I had as a
programmer,” said Stauffer, a GCU Hall
of Fame member who grew up in west
Phoenix and returned to earn his M.B.A. in
management and leadership in 2008. “But I
think I was too young at the time to have a
grand plan as to how it would turn out.”
Rather than formally studying
technology in college, Stauffer learned about
programming languages by digesting huge
books of code in his free time. The 39-year-old
father of four originally graduated from GCU
in 1999 and developed the idea for Brinkster
in the midst of earning a bachelor’s degree in
Christian Studies.
By contrast, over the next few years
University leaders plan to unveil an
engineering curriculum and develop an
interdisciplinary atmosphere where students
from many majors work on technology
projects in laboratory-style classrooms,
likely with the cloud as a central hub for
Stauffer said he expects to share his
story with new students, to provide cloud
technology expertise, and to make himself
available to his alma mater for suggestions
on how GCU should design new academic
programs in science, technology, engineering
and mathematics.
“I’m programmed to think like that, about
what’s coming next,” he said.
What’s coming next at GCU is a new wave
of tech-savvy students intent on shaping
academic programs. There’s no telling what
type of businesses or projects might be
created on campus as those students develop.
Stauffer speaks with GCU’s Dr. Michael Mobley,
(right) a former ASU Biodesign Institute director, and
Haley Peebles, a longtime GCU science instructor.
Mobley and Peebles have spearheaded efforts to
integrate science, engineering and technology
curriculum based on workforce needs.
I imagine the projects our students
take on will make a difference for
humanity. . . . They might include
meaningful health care innovations,
or software programs and computer
simulations, to help create a better
quality of life for people.
– Dr. Hank Radda, GCU provost
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