The Social Responsibility of a University in a Neighborhood

By Joe Veres, EdD
Director of K-12 Outreach

GCU students in the promenade on campus

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)

In June 2013, I left my middle school office as principal and began a new journey at Grand Canyon University with the promise of creating hope and success for high school students within the surrounding area. Within this promise was a commitment from Grand Canyon University to build opportunities for the community, a social responsibility to serve and support. 

Located in West Phoenix, Grand Canyon University centers itself in an area that once thrived as a middle class community. As a community falling on difficult times, the university has rallied behind the neighborhood to assist in providing safety and education. To contribute to education, hope and success for students encompassed the formation of the GCU Learning Lounge, an afterschool facility of promise.

In creating the most educated community in the state, Grand Canyon University provided its greatest resource in accomplishing this vision of the GCU Learning Lounge: the student body. With a heart to serve and a love for the Lord, the Grand Canyon University student is devoted to giving back and lifting up. Deeply rooted into the fabric of the university is the value of serving others. More than academic support, the GCU Learning Lounge provides an avenue to demonstrate the love and passion of their belief of giving to others – it’s who they are.

As Simon Mainwaring once stated, if a brand genuinely wants to make a social contribution, it should start with who they are, not what they do. For only when a brand has defined itself and its core values can it identify causes or social responsibility initiatives that are in alignment with its authentic brand.

Grand Canyon University’s brand epitomizes social responsibility and rests as the cornerstone for stewardship within the community. Beyond the GCU Learning Lounge, the Grand Canyon University student arrives with their own unique gifts and in determining their path, they humbly share with others beyond the campus walls.

I have been humbled during this journey to witness Grand Canyon University commitment to fulfill its promise of providing opportunities to those within our neighborhood.  For our neighborhood is a place of purpose, a place of hope.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” (Albert Einstein)

Grand Canyon University is a Christian community that is committed to carrying out its biblically rooted mission. To learn more, visit our website or contact us using the Request More Information button today.

More About Dr. Joe Veres

Joe Veres, EdD, earned his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University, his Master of Arts in Education/Administration and Supervision (MAEd/ADM) from the University of Phoenix and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Ashland University. During his career, Dr. Veres has received the Award of Excellence from the Arizona School Public Relations Association, Expect More: Excellence Tour from Expect More Arizona, Recognition of Leadership: Voices for the Community from Valle Del Sol and Arizona School Administrators Association, Higher Division Outstanding Dissertation Award. Outside of his professional awards, Dr. Veres earned multiple athletic honors. In wrestling, he was a four-time Division II National Championship Qualifier, a three-time All-American, a four-time Academic All-American, Ashland University’s Male Athlete of the Year and a two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) competitor. Dr. Veres enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his children.

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. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.