PHOENIX / PRNewswire — Grand Canyon University kicked off commencement season with the largest graduating class in its 64-year history.
In all, GCU conferred 16,113 degrees to graduates in its College of Business, Arts and Sciences, Education, Theology, Nursing and Health Care Professions, Fine Arts and Production and Doctoral Studies.
Members of the Class of 2013 traveled to GCU from throughout the United States and were joined by more than 30,000 friends and relatives at six commencement ceremonies in three days.
Among the graduates was 89-year-old Patti Burson, a San Diego resident who received her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. Burson completed her undergraduate degree from Albright College in Reading, PA, 68 years ago. She plans to counsel baby boomers and seniors on issues related to retirement.
Unlike Burson, 23-year-old Patricia Greenough of Laveen, AZ, received her master’s degree in Special Education just one year after completing her bachelor’s degree. This is remarkable considering that Greenough is “dually exceptional” — a gifted student who suffers from a variety of learning disabilities, including dyslexia, short-term memory loss, auditory processing issues and ADHD.
Greenough teaches math at Betty H. Fairfax High School, but she has even bigger plans to help learners like her who may slip through the cracks at most schools.
Another multiple degree-holder is Humberto Valle , 25, of Tolleson, AZ. Valle already holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from his hometown University of Texas El Paso, but he pursued a second bachelor’s in entrepreneurial studies to help get his small business off the ground. As part of his studies at GCU’s Ken Blanchard College of Business, Valle took OppenUp, which links job seekers with hiring managers in a customized virtual space, from concept to company.
“Commencement on our campus was an opportunity to witness the real strength of Grand Canyon University: its students,” said Brian Mueller , GCU’s president and CEO. “Over and over, I was moved by the stories of those who let nothing keep them from reaching their goals. It is a privilege for our institution to play a role in preparing these men and women for future successes.”
About Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona’s premier private Christian university. GCU offers degree programs 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.