Grand Canyon University goes east

September 21, 2012

Grand Canyon announced plans to establish a new school on the East Coast for at least 500 students in the fall of 2014.

Grand Canyon University The future campus of Grand Canyon University in Northfield, Mass. (Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon University)

Craft retailer Hobby Lobby has donated a 217-acre campus in Massachusetts that will lead to the expansion of Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University. President Brian Mueller says the land once housed an elite private school in the town of Northfield, an hour and a half west of Boston.

“Some of the buildings were built in the late 1800s, and some in the early 1900’s," he said. "From a college campus perspective, it has a lot of what you’d expect from a private school in the Northeast.” 

Mueller expects the school to open with at least 500 students in the fall of 2014. 

The campus is a gift from Hobby Lobby, which has controlled the property for several years.

"We’re not certainly going to steal students from Harvard or Yale or any thing like that, but for kids from middle-class families who never thought they could go to a private school, this will be a very good option," said Mueller, who added that low-cost tuition will allow it to compete in an area already crowded with colleges and universities.

GCU is a public for-profit company, with its main campus in West Phoenix. It will use revenue from its public offering and online classes to fund the expansion, Mueller said.

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