Grand Canyon University welcomes largest freshman class in school history

GCU's Welcome Week traditions grow with record-setting class

Aug 22, 2013, 14:00 ET from Grand Canyon University

PHOENIX, Aug. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Canyon University will welcome its largest freshman class and campus student body in school history when classes begin Monday, Aug. 26.


More than 3,000 freshmen and 1,000 first-time transfer students will descend upon GCU for Welcome Week activities, which include the university's longstanding move-in tradition. Those admissible freshmen also boast a cumulative 3.5 grade point average, the highest ever at GCU.

Overall, enrollment on the ground campus will jump to 8,500 – an increase of 2,000 from 2012. The university expects to have 15,000 students on its main Phoenix campus by 2015 and is also opening a 100-plus-acre campus in Mesa, Ariz., that will open in 2015 with the potential to hold 10,000 students within seven years.

"We are very excited about what the future holds for Grand Canyon University," said Brian Mueller, president and CEO of the university. "The opportunity to receive a private Christian education, at an affordable cost, is something more and more families have come to value from us."

Students pay an average of $7,800 per year, after scholarships, for tuition at Grand Canyon.

GCU's move-in event takes place Thursday and Friday mornings and involves 1,600 volunteers from the university. A group of volunteers greets each new student as he or she is about to move into one of the eight residence halls or apartment complexes. The process, which resembles a NASCAR pit stop, takes only a few minutes as volunteers descend upon a vehicle, unload everything and take it to the student's dorm suite -- well before parents have time to park the car and rejoin their son or daughter.

Other Welcome Week activities include student and parent orientations, University Convocation, a pool party, ice cream social, picnic, midnight color party and the inaugural "Ignite" candle-lighting ceremony.

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 in seven colleges: the Ken Blanchard College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Theology, the College of Fine Arts and Production, and the College of Doctoral Studies. 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

SOURCE Grand Canyon University