Grand Canyon University will celebrate the largest graduating class in its history during commencement ceremonies this month, including a traditional ground campus class that is 29% first-generation college students.
Approximately 30,000 GCU students completed their degrees during the 2021-22 academic year, bringing the total number of graduates to more than 132,000 in the past five years. The achievements of those students will be celebrated during commencement ceremonies at GCU Arena on April 21-22 for traditional students and April 25-28 for online students.
The graduating class includes those who completed their degrees in Summer 2021, Fall 2021 and projected graduates from Spring 2022.
“Our graduates are sought after in industries throughout Arizona and the entire world,” said GCU President Brian Mueller. “What they learn in the classroom combined with the sense of purpose they cultivate through servant leadership in a Christian worldview context makes them well-prepared to become future leaders in our communities.
“What also has me really excited about this graduating class is that 29% of our traditional ground campus graduates identify as first-generation college students. That is a truly transformational number. Those graduates will change the financial trajectory of their families for generations to come.”
GCU puts an emphasis on ensuring that private Christian education is affordable to all socioeconomic classes – freezing tuition on the ground campus for 14 straight years – while also putting in place support systems to ensure those students succeed academically, spiritually and emotionally.
“Studies show that as tuition levels increase, diversity decreases,” Mueller said. “By keeping tuition affordable, that creates equality of opportunity and results in a very diverse and high-quality student body.”
The 2021-22 academic year was also historic in that it was again buzzing with activity on the GCU campus after returning to pre-pandemic levels of participation in everything from Chapel services, intramurals, clubs, community outreach efforts, NCAA athletics, fitness centers and outdoor recreation trips.
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