Lope Life: A Look Back on 2016

GCU students performing at the Lip Sync Battle

There are times throughout the year when campus falls silent. Laptops close. The library empties. Students abandon their residence halls. This is when students break away from their studies and meet up with friends to have fun, which is all part of the Grand Canyon University college experience. Below are a few of the best events of 2016, where students went crazy and enjoyed everything that’s most exciting about Lope Life:

Lip Sync

Harambaes. Dream Team. Toolbox. These were the top three lip synching teams who owned the stage during GCU’s annual Lip Sync talent show.

Before the event, hundreds of students waited in line at the GCU Arena to experience one-of-a-kind lip syncing performances by teams who dedicated long hours of practice to win over the crowd. Along with the performers and students, flashing lights and a DJ entertained the packed Arena. It was crazy. It was fun. And Lopes loved to cheer on their peers.

Toolbox, last year’s Lip Sync champion, returned to the stage to reclaim their first place title and broke down into electric dance moves. ID’s Please used props, like foam rollers and exercise weights, for a hilarious fitness skit that created a wave of laughter in the crowd.

Among the other performances, like female-empowered dancing and a playful Taylor Swift impersonation, the Harambaes came out on top. The 10-member crew won the hearts of the crowd for their tribute to Harambe, the gorilla who was shot and killed. They even brought the audience to their feet as they held Harambe’s portrait in the air while Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” played.

Midnight Madness

How do you know that basketball season is officially underway at GCU? Midnight Madness, where the Arena erupts in craziness to tip off the men’s and women’s seasons.

Over 7,000 fans came to rock the Arena (literally, floors and stands vibrated from excitement) in support of GCU basketball players, staff and coaches. It doesn’t take much to see why this annual celebration is gaining national attention.

This past year, the “Apocalopes”-themed annual event didn’t disappoint. Students deserted campus to line up in front of the Arena doors two hours before the show began. Once the doors swung open, the Havocs cheered loud and proud. The GCU dance and cheer teams electrified the crowd.

Then at midnight, it’s show time.

Thunder entered dressed as Indiana Jones. The drum line performance featured Pastor Tim Griffin, GCU’s dean of students, in his best biker outfit. Teams were introduced. Trent May, the women’s head coach, appeared in combat boots, covered in paint. And Dan Majerle, the men’s head coach donned in all black, made his grand entrance on a motorcycle to hype up the crowd and encourage fans to show support for a winning 2016-17 season.


Every year, a GCU student reins as Mr. GCU. But first he must compete against 11 other nominated contestants during this outrageous male talent competition. This past year, the superhero-themed event opened in complete darkness. Hosts Mr. and Mrs. Incredible hit the stage to awaken inner superheroes.

No, there was no display of typical superhero talents like shooting lasers or flying from ridiculous heights – these contestants showed off their rapping skills in a music video, acted, flossed and even ate a sandwich in slow motion. And in true pageant style, each contestant had to answer questions like “What superhero power do you wish you possessed?”

It was student Joshua Braun who won Mr. GCU for emulating a 2007 Saturday Night Live skit, “Locker Room Motivation.” The performance portrayed a struggling basketball team and coach who danced and played music during halftime to pump up the team. For GCU flare, he poked fun at the Lopes and Dan Majerle. The event was a fun, creative way for students to get wild and essentially make a fool out of themselves. In the end, only one came out as 2016’s Mr. GCU.

Every year, Lopes look forward to these most exciting events on campus. Energy around campus erupts once students take a break from their studies to let loose among their fellow Lopes. Lip Sync, Midnight Madness and Mr. GCU are legendary to the university and Lope Life, among many other annual traditions.

Want to learn more about the campus experience at GCU? Visit our website or request more information using the green button at the top of the page. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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