GCU unveils new business school building named after Jerry Colangelo

Jan 10, 2019, 4:35 AM
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — One of the largest business schools in the country now has a home in Phoenix, and it’s named after one of Arizona’s most influential entrepreneurs.

The Grand Canyon University Colangelo College of Business — named after businessman Jerry Colangelo — was unveiled Wednesday as the latest school in the West Phoenix campus.

“For us to have [Colangelo], with all he’s done and his name and how he has lived his life…is just a tremendous blessing for us,” University President Brian Mueller said.

The Colangelo College of Business is among the biggest business schools in the country, with 4,100 students pursuing degrees at the Phoenix campus and more than 12,000 online students.

The four-story, 150,000-square-foot building has 81 offices, 61 classrooms and areas for student engagement, meetings, and studying — all outfitted with memorabilia from Colangelo’s sports careers.

Colangelo said he is committed to leading the future with entrepreneurs with the school named in his honor.

“I just want to emphasize the importance of an education,” Colangelo said. “You can learn a lot outside of a textbook and I think it’s the overall educational opportunity we offer here that sets us apart.”

Colangelo has been one of the most influential people in Arizona since 1968, when he joined the Phoenix Suns as the youngest general manager in professional sports at 28.

He has served as a board member at the university since 2009, but has since moved into a more active role, engaging with students, helping with business skills and preparing them to become values-driven leaders.

“The enthusiasm I feel, the excitement that the young people have just makes me feel younger just walking the halls with them,” Colangelo said.

As for Colangelo’s message to the students studying at the school of business, he said, “You can’t wait for your ship to come in, you better swim out to it.

“You better be willing to fail. Walk out on that plank, you might get pushed, or you might slip but the last one standing when it’s all over with.”

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GCU unveils new business school building named after Jerry Colangelo