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Top stories, photos depict an emotional GCU year

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Top stories, photos depict an emotional GCU year

GCU News Desk

GCU Today, GCU Magazine, and GCULopes.com publish thousands of stories and photos each year. Everyone has their place in the accomplishments, the joys and pains of Grand Canyon University students, faculty, staff, and alumni and in the events they attend and produce.

But then there are those who emit an extra round of applause, another chuckle, or a deep heart-wrenching. We will not forget them, and neither will you. Here are the 2021 stories and photos that emerged, in our opinion, with the writer’s comment on each of them. Three words come to mind: achievement, kindness… and definitely passion.

Ana Herrera, left, and her father, Jose Luis, showed a range of emotions after hearing that Anna had won a scholarship from SIS to GCU. (Photo by Matthew McGraw)

Mike Keelen

SIS Scholarship Winners Make Their Parents Proud

Despite the challenges of these times, GCU has a way of fostering joy. A May evening when parents sat aside for their children to hear the surprise announcement of the Student Inspirational Scholarship for Neighborhood Teens in Need was particularly emotional. Many of them are children of immigrant parents who sacrificed for a better life for their children. Anna Herrera She cried with her father as she thought about how her mother was feeling. “She passed away from COVID last year,” Anna said. “But now that I know she is proud and looks down on me and is very happy.”

It took weeks of training, almost every night for three hours, to do these 6 Beats Apart stunts at Lip Sync. (Photo by Rick Delia)

Dancing students pack the GCU Arena to lip sync

again joy. Remind the students that life is meant to be fun, as they often do with music. Perhaps no event has shown more how campus reunions took place in 2021 than the Battle of Lip Sync, when 7,000 students filled the GCU Arena to the ceiling and sang and danced, even before it even began. When 6 Beats Apart won first prize in the annual student talent competition, few could have imagined that “none of us could dance to save our lives,” said the team’s captain. Christian Jules. But they united and learned to dance, and that was 2021 in a nutshell.

Dr. Axel Theophilus Okfor traveled 28 hours from Nigeria to start the journey. (Photo by Ralph Friso)

GCU went the extra mile this fall, and so did the alumni

If there’s a thread for the joys of 2021, it’s a renewal. And it was on display throughout the fall semester with about 7,000 students from around the world coming to campus for makeup initiation ceremonies that were delayed by the pandemic. In seven Mondays, they walked across the campus in waves of flowing purple robes, to make up for lost time and move forward with pure joy.

Tana Curry (left) and a team from Community Impact traveled to Buckeye, Arizona, to deliver a truckload of household goods to Salima Kalonji (right), a Congolese refugee. (Photo by Ralph Friso)

Lana’s candy

John Herold

GCU CityServe wraps arms around those in need

It’s not often that you meet someone as incredible as Salima Kalonji. The refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, fleeing the violence of her home country where her husband was murdered, comes to America, where she often works 90 hours a week. It was her dream to have a home of her own and she recently purchased a furnished home in large part by GCU CityServe. And she’s just one person GCU is helping. Executive Director Korean Jay What he said best about GCU CityServe: “This is going to be huge. We are going to change the world.”

GCU Student Honors Brother at ROTC 9/11 Event

Most of the incoming students at GCU in 2021 weren’t even born when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 changed everything. Twenty years after that national tragedy, the fear is that the next generation will forget the impact of that day. John Herold mention them. The brother of an online GCU student, Gary, died while helping co-workers evacuate from the 98th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Alexis Prater

A Joplin hurricane survivor with the help of GCU is now a student

“The good you do comes back to you…” I contemplate this quote when I think of it Alexis Prater, who was only 8 years old when she survived a powerful EF5 tornado that devastated her hometown of Joplin, Missouri. It would turn out to be the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States since the 1940s, killing more than 160 people. when Aaron Johnson Hearing of the devastation in his hometown, he quickly led GCU’s relief efforts to help families who had nothing. Alexis will never forget those kindnesses and enrolled in GCU 10 years later.

Mike Lovin (center) celebrated his graduation from GCU with (from left) his son-in-law Annie, his wife Carrie, daughter Tully and son Austin.

Rick Fask

Surprise family grad diploma up to the ninth degree

When we first heard Mike LovinStoryline, we couldn’t believe it. Wait a minute. You mean to tell me he worked his degree for over four years without telling his family? As it turns out, the best part about doing this story – besides the fact that it’s so hilarious – is listening to Loven laugh as he tells how he pulled it off.

The Grand Canyon University student team put together the TEDxGCU after months of challenges from COVID-19.

TEDxGCU Verifies Pandemic Student Perseverance

What these students did to accomplish this event was amazing. They did not know until the last moment where, or even if, they would be able to organize it. And then they produced a masterpiece. It’s the ultimate story that you had to be there. Even more surprising was the students’ ability to win donations from sponsors. He said, “Promoting who we are and what we do to get thousands and thousands of dollars of value is not an easy task, especially at 18, 20 and 21 years old.” Havela Houston, group leader this year. “But here we are.”

Chris Brown

Brown’s return to Chapel is fraught with emotion

The simple fact that Chris Brown I came back to the Chapel as a gift – the guy is a great talker. But it is also a collegiate representation. His humble thank-you note for this story surely was unexpected…just like the sidekicks and individual letters he drops in every conversation. As an added bonus, he was a speaker at the Chapel again this fall, which shouldn’t surprise anyone: He’s as warm one-on-one as he is on stage.

Kristen Collins has cared for several children at a free clinic in Farah, Afghanistan.

ashley larison

GCU grad remembers her time as a nurse in Afghanistan

every memory Kristen Collins A military nurse in Afghanistan was all back in flood when she watched news coverage of the country’s fall to the Taliban earlier this year. The nursing graduate worked long and hard to earn her degree, and she used it to help as many people as possible. Moral of her story: Don’t take the little things in life for granted.

Doctor. they complained about expensive

What a journey: there was danger in this Ph.D.

The first international PhD learner at GCU, Doctor. they complained about expensive, he had cut short the journey to complete a PhD in Business Administration. The Nepalese citizen had to survive earthquakes, leeches and days of travel on foot just to collect his data, on top of suffering constant electrical and electrical problems. In 2021, Ghali completed his seven-year PhD journey and began the next phase in his life – using his degree to give back to the people of Nepal.

Dr. Craig Dettweiler (Photo by Ralph Friso)

New Dean Brings Diverse Fine Art Background

Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production Dr.. Craig Dettweiler He was long told that there was no way he could maintain his love of the arts and his faith. But the writer, director, and teacher has spent his career doing just that. It’s a skill that made Detweiler the perfect candidate for his new role at GCU. As he memorably said upon arriving on campus, “We can enlighten and entertain at the same time.”

GCU men’s basketball coach Bryce Drew speaks at the Oscar Fryer memorial service.

Paul chorus

4 Ever: Frayer’s Tribute Ceremony

From the championship grid-cutting photo of him posted in the GCU locker room to the “High Flyer” silhouette on the tributes’ T-shirts, Oscar Fryer He has not and will not be forgotten since his sudden death in March. The most touching tribute was at the GCU basketball facility, where he liked to be on the campus he called home. Touching tributes from all walks of GCU’s life honor the spirit of Fryer’s life.

Asbjorn Midtgaard (Photo by David Kadlubowski)

The turning point lit the Midtgaard torch at 14

King Asbjorn Midtgaard He proved to be a one-year reserve on a good basketball team in GCU, and he would be remembered fondly for his work ethic and friendly manner. But the move to GCU put it in the lead and the positives and elevated Lopes to Big Dance. Midtgaard’s path is even more fascinating when he meets his parents and the coach of Denmark who prevents him from quitting.

Ethan Harris

Rejections sent Harris to new heights

One of the best high jumpers in the country goes to GCU. That’s interesting enough without knowing it Ethan Harris I didn’t mean to be. Harris’ story offers lessons in perseverance and faith. His dreams of another sport were repeatedly rejected, only to lead him to better fitness, and his faith-based connection to the GCU campus is what brought him back as a student without the “athlete” part.

Ralph Friso

“make chaos”

This photo was taken during the women’s volleyball game leading up to the Lope-A-Palooza game, and to me it illustrates the passion and raw emotion that the Havocs bring to any GCU athletics event, always creating an advantage on the home ground.

“A happy mess in a hammock”

This photo was taken during the annual Camp Elliott event. I love this picture because it’s so weird. While I was covering student turnout for the best seats at Midnight Madness, I noticed a “Lopes Up” sign raised from a student cuddled in a cocoon-like sleeping shelter hammock. It definitely caught my attention.

Merge into ‘Emerge’

This last photo taken during the “Emerge” dance rehearsal has become one of my favorite photos. I love the flowing lines of their bodies as one dancer exits the other while the edge light plays perfectly against the negative space of the frame.

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Related content:

GCULopes.com: GCU mourns the death of Oscar Fryer

GCU today: GCU CityServe Distribution Center Officially Opened

GCU today: Grateful scholarship recipient SIS Arena warm

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