So much goes into a name, and Grand Canyon University got a big one as it has renamed it’s business school to the Colangelo College of Business. Over the past few years, Jerry Colangelo has worked with the school, and his role has grown over that time from a board member to the leader of the sports management program, and now the namesake of the college of business.
“He was showing up on campus two and three times a week,” GCU President Brian Mueller said. “He was meeting with our students and was bringing in guest lecturers and he was providing mentoring for our students in our business program, in our basketball program. So there was a connection that developed between Mr. Colangelo and our students.”
With an audience filled with the likes of Senator Jeff Flake, Mayor Greg Stanton, Al McCoy and other high-ranking officials within the political and sports world, representatives from the school and friends honored Colangelo.
“He’s a man of character and a man of integrity, and for those of you who have kept up with the sports world recently, you know as well as I do that we are in desperate need of more men like him,” GCU student Brandon Walker said.
Colangelo is currently the chairmen of the Team USA basketball team, as well as a former chairman and general manager of the Suns and chairman of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He also played crucial roles in bringing the Phoenix Coyotes and Phoenix Mercury to the Valley.
Colangelo has had his fingerprints all over not only the growing sports scene throughout the state, but also the growth of Phoenix in it’s entirety as well. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton addressed the audience, and credited Colangelo with the revival of Downtown Phoenix by putting an emphasis on more residences within the area.
“The message that you told me and other leaders back in the day has really advanced this city and I would politely argue that no one has made a bigger impact on the success of this city overall than Jerry Colangelo,” Stanton said.
And while Colangelo is one of the most powerful figures in Phoenix, he wants his name to be associated with giving back. He even referenced what he would like his tombstone to read: “He Cares”.
“Because that says a lot. He cared about everything and everyone about making your community a better place in which to live,” Colangelo said. “How do you do that? By investing in the community, investing in the people and doing the right thing all the time.”