Ottawa University To Hold First Day Of Classes At Surprise Campus

Published: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 7:50am
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Aug. 21 is the first day of classes on Ottawa University’s new campus next door to Surprise City Hall, and enrollment at the private Christian school has so far exceeded expectations.

The women’s soccer team scrimmaged at the end of practice held at Christ’s Church of the Valley. One side wore orange jerseys and the other side wore burgundy. Tylar Williams played for the burgundy team. The 20-year-old could have quit soccer last year after serious ankle injury at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Instead, the Gilbert native transferred to Ottawa University. Williams wants to study business and help build the soccer program from scratch.

“I want to set a culture where it’s OK to have fun and win,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be serious.”

Like other students, Williams now lives in Surprise. A hotel and apartment complex near campus serve as temporary dorms. Officials anticipated having 250 students this year. More than 350 enrolled, which has Dr. Dennis Tyner excited. The vice president and provost of the Surprise campus said students leave Ottawa University prepared to go to work.

“We believe we could be the West Valley school,” Tyner said. “That’s what we think because there are a lot of students in this particular area who are looking for some place close to home.”

Roughly 10 percent of students are from the West Valley, Tyner said. They’ll study for degrees like education, biology and human services. Ottawa University plans to offer engineering starting next year.

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