Executive Letters - Arizona Christian University

Len Munsil

President of Arizona Christian University

Dear ACU Parents,

First, I want to thank you for entrusting us with the very important responsibility of providing a Christian education for your students. As you know, it is our mission to equip Arizona Christian University students with a sound biblical foundation and an excellent education for their future, and we could not do it without your support.

I am beyond pleased to say that our efforts are paying of! We are seeing the success that comes from the dedication and commitment of our students, faculty and staff. Today we are Arizona’s most highly-ranked Christian university. We are now being recognized for the top-notch education we are providing to our students – for the second straight year, we are ranked among the nation’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, and were even ranked the No. 1 University in Arizona by College Consensus!

That success serves as the catalyst for the announcement we are making today. After a fifth consecutive year of record enrollment, Arizona Christian University is at capacity at its Cactus Road campus. In the best interests of advancing and continuing to grow its vital mission, ACU has entered into a real estate transaction with Arizona State University. Through a land exchange agreement, we will be relocating our campus to the Thunderbird School of Global Management’s former Glendale campus. This opportunity to grow and serve our student body is unprecedented. The buildings, IT equipment, student housing, facilities and amenities that were a part of the Thunderbird campus will now be revitalized and utilized by Arizona Christian University faculty, staff, and students!

With the move to Glendale, our campus size increases from about 20 acres to nearly 69 acres. The square footage of campus buildings goes from 150,000 square feet to nearly 500,000 square feet, including dozens of large classrooms and auditoriums. The new ACU location will enhance campus life for students in so many exciting ways: we gain ample on-campus student housing including resort-style living and a swimming pool, an expansive library 10 times the size of our current library, nearly three times as many parking spaces, a campus store, a coffee shop, a huge student union and dining hall, and space for our athletic teams to practice and compete on-campus! We now have a number of new revenue sources that will come from an on-campus hotel, conference services, retail leases, and the campus store. Our on-campus hotel will be available at discounted rates to ACU parents and family members when they come to visit!

The average private college in America now charges about $36,000 in tuition per year. These new revenue streams will help ACU continue to maintain its tuition at least $10,000 per year lower than other private schools, while continuing to increase our scholarship commitment to students – more than $8 million in scholarships were provided this year. ACU students will also receive membership to the YMCA next to campus, included with their tuition and fees!

Frankly, this opportunity for ACU and for your students, and all future students, is nothing short of a miracle. We hope you and your student will share in celebrating God’s faithfulness and provision for ACU’s vital mission. Thank you for your support, cooperation, and prayers!

Blessings,

Len Munsil
President, Arizona Christian University

Michael Crow

President of Arizona State University

To the Arizona Christian University Community:

Congratulations on this exciting and historic chapter for ACU. The transition to a new university home will undoubtedly bring new learning and engagement opportunities for students, faculty, staff, university partners and the community at large.

Your new campus has a unique place in history. On April 8, 1946, Thunderbird School of Global Management (originally known as the American Institute for Foreign Trade) was chartered on the Glendale, Ariz., World War II airbase, Thunderbird Field, where pilots from around the world came for training during wartime. General Barton Kyle Yount obtained the airfield with the express purpose of developing a school focused exclusively on international trade and global relations. The airfield—which was valued at $407,000—was acquired at a 100% discount (i.e., a gift), which raised eyebrows around the nation until congressmen on the House Surplus
Property Committee deemed that not only did Thunderbird qualify for the nonprofit discount, but that its existence would actually contribute to the cause of world peace. Yount was named Thunderbird’s first president, and established a vision for the school that remains today—built on the phrase coined by original faculty member Dr. William Lytle Schurz, “Borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers.” With that, Thunderbird’s mission to “educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide” was born.

Since its inception as Thunderbird, your new campus welcomed globally minded student leaders, esteemed faculty and dignitaries from around the world. It also nurtured one of the world’s best executive education programs and a vast network of accomplished alumni. In 2014, Arizona State University acquired Thunderbird School of Global Management, making it an official part of the ASU Knowledge Enterprise. In 2017, we made the strategic decision to relocate the Thunderbird School from Glendale to our growing downtown Phoenix campus to
position the school in closer proximity to our professional programs and the ASU community.

When we made that decision, we envisioned that the former Thunderbird campus would retain some educational aspect. We are so pleased that ACU will soon make its new home on this historic Glendale campus, and we hope that this special environment yields an equally successful and memorable legacy for all who study, work and visit here. The entire ASU community wishes all of you the best of luck in the future.

Sincerely,

Michael M. Crow
President

Jerry P. Weiers

Mayor City of Glendale

Dear Arizona Christian University Family,

It is a pleasure for me to extend personally, as well as on behalf of the City Council and all the residents of our city, a most cordial welcome to the City of Glendale. We are proud to have you as part of our growing and thriving
community. Your new location has a rich history and we are confident that with your move here it will bring an exciting future.

We hope you, and your families, will take advantage of all Glendale has to offer just as we look forward to all that you will add to our City. From our professional sports teams, to shopping and dining, our historical sites and unique events, we know you will find Glendale a great place to learn. We are equally excited to welcome your athletic events and extra-curricular activities while knowing a first-rate educational institution will be recruiting new students and families.

Thank you President Munsil and the ACU leadership team for your vision and commitment to continuing quality education on the historical campus in Glendale. We look forward to watching you thrive.

In your service,

Jerry P. Weiers
Mayor