PHOENIX, June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Canyon University President and CEO Brian Mueller was named the Silver Stevie Executive of the Year winner by the American Business Awards, the nation's premier business awards program.
More than 3,300 entries were submitted across multiple categories and 240 executives nationwide participated in judging to determine this year's Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners.
Mueller was recognized at an awards ceremony last Friday for ushering in a new era for the university, and making a quality education affordable and accessible to a burgeoning student population.
"It is a tremendous honor to be singled out for building up the next generation of leaders," he said.
In 2008, Mueller began transforming GCU from an entrepreneurial venture into a market-supported public company. His idea was to build an operational and financial model that would put a quality education within reach by keeping student costs low without relying on taxpayer subsidies. His plan brought stability to the university while bolstering enrollment and improving the school's academic offerings online and on its 115-acre campus.
Since 2009, GCU has invested $400 million into its programs and student experience. Among the additions are classroom buildings and laboratories, dormitories, a new library and Student Union, and a 7,000-seat multi-purpose arena.
Under Mueller's leadership, the university also reinvented its academic programs, investing $80 million in learning technologies and aligning the school's curriculum with high-growth industries such as computer science, information technology and engineering. Such efforts helped GCU raise its admission standards – the average GPA for freshmen is now 3.5 – and the school's six-year graduation and retention rates also are trending upward.
GCU's resurgence created jobs too: the school's workforce has grown to approximately 3,000 from 500 in 2008 and additional staff will be hired for the university's second campus in Mesa, Ariz., where classes are slated to begin in 2015.
GCU is ranked as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies and the No. 2 Best Small-Cap Company in America by Fortune and Forbes, respectively. In addition, the university plays an integral role in the community with a more than $1 million partnership to strengthen the neighborhood surrounding its Phoenix campus and a groundbreaking free tutoring program to help underserved high school students improve their academic performance.
About Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited and emphasizes individual attention for both traditional undergraduate students and the working professional. GCU offers traditional programs on its growing campus, as well as online bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. The University's curriculum fuses academic and clinical rigor with Christian values to prepare its students to be skilled, caring professionals. For more information about GCU, visit gcu.edu.
About the Stevie® Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in five programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. A sixth program, the German Stevie Awards, will debut later this year. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at StevieAwards.com.
SOURCE Grand Canyon University