Tag Archives: Ottawa University

District 2 Update – October 2018

I’d like to begin this month’s message by thanking the voters of Surprise for participating in the August Primary Election. Every vote matters and I hope you realize that.

I encourage everyone to educate themselves on who is running and what is being placed on the ballot, in order to make an informed vote for the November 6th General Election. To view all of the ballot issues visit https://azsos.gov/elections/2018-publicity-pamphlet.

If you’re not already registered to vote, registration forms can be found at Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) Offices, the Post Office, or in the Clerk’s Office at Surprise City Hall. Voter registration deadline is 29 days before Election Day, which in the case of the General Election would be midnight, October 9th. If you would like to check the status of your records, I encourage you to call the Maricopa County Recorder’s office at (602) 506-1511.

On a non-election topic, I feel it important to inform Sun City Grand residents about a potential change in water utility rates through EPCOR. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has ordered EPCOR to either keep their 11 water districts separate, or consolidate them into one district. Consolidation would allow for consistent rates across the board and would produce cost savings for EPCOR, which would translate to us, the customer. If the consolidation happens, our rates will see a slight increase initially, then decrease over the next 5 years, ultimately landing at a rate consistent with the remaining water districts through EPCOR; based the average water consumption of 7,000 gallons with ¾ inch pipe, that would be $41.45 monthly at the end of the 5th year. Based on the same calculations, if the districts remain separate then our monthly rate would average $47.01. As of this writing, a decision has not been finalized, but if you would like to view more information on EPCOR’s rate consolidation case, please visit www.epcor.com/waterconsolidation.

I also remind you this is the time of year when the temperatures cool and our city has so many fun outdoor activities planned for you, your family and friends to enjoy!

  • Come cheer on our Ottawa University (OUAZ) football team at Spirit Field in the Civic Center Complex. Support your local team! The October home games are scheduled for October 6 vs. Arizona Christian and October 13 vs. Texas College. Game times are 7 p.m.
  • Our signature street-festival, Surprise Fiesta Grande, kicks off on October 13! Enjoy live music, food trucks and more from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. next to our Senior Center on Hollyhock Street.
  • The Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival at Mark Coronado Park is October 21 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Our Arts Scene lights up this fall with a public arts bus tour, Sunset Theater, Lunchtime Theater performances and Wham’s Poetry Slam all set for this month. Get the details at surpriseaz.gov/arts.

And finally as our new distracted driving ordinance goes into effect, please remember to obey all traffic rules, drive safely and stay vigilant as more traffic will be in our neighborhoods and on our city streets as we welcome our Winter Visitors!

Ottawa University Announces New Residential Campus in Surprise

City of Surprise to become university town with classes beginning August 2017


Ottawa University and the City of Surprise today announced that Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ), a new residential university campus, will be opening Fall 2017 in Surprise, Ariz., expanding upon the university’s 40-year presence in the Valley of the Sun, making Surprise a university town, and bringing intercollegiate athletic programs to the West Valley.

OUAZ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, will offer a full complement of academic, athletic and student activity programs primarily for traditional-age college students, including multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university will be home to 19 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams, and will be working toward a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) designation. Upon award of the designation, OUAZ would be one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona. The school mascot is a grey wolf and the sports teams are called the Spirit.

At a dedication event this morning, Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni roll in the Arizona market.

“Ottawa University has expanded strategically during the last 151 years and we are poised for significant growth and exceptional student outcomes here in Surprise,” said Eichner. “We are grateful the City of Surprise shares our vision for delivering a new model for education with an emphasis on educating and developing the whole person, and creating work-ready graduates who are prepared to be successful on the job from day one.”

Ottawa University is a private, non-profit, Christian university that was founded in Ottawa, Kansas in 1865. The university has been operating in Arizona since 1977 with campuses in Phoenix and Queen Creek, and has been serving the Surprise community for eight years at its current location as part of the Communiversity at Surprise, a partnership of higher education institutions. Historically, the Surprise campus has primarily served adult learners, which it will continue to do; the traditional-age student is a new market for OUAZ.

The future 35-acre OUAZ campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Civic Center, allowing students to avail themselves of the surrounding city amenities, including the Surprise Aquatic Center, Dream Catcher Park, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, and Surprise Stadium, as well as robust shopping and dining amenities.

“Surprise is a college town! Our graduating high school seniors now have the option to pursue a college degree in their hometown,” said Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “This partnership keeps our promise to residents; after all, university campus development is part of the City Council’s Strategic Plan and we could not ask for a better partner than Ottawa University. This is a storied educational institution with more than 150 years of success and a 40-year foothold in the Phoenix market. They know us and we know them!”

Expansion plans for the Surprise campus include development of residential housing, an indoor activity center, dining and conference space, and new athletic fields, including a stadium with artificial turf for football and soccer.

OUAZ innovates a unique approach to education. In addition to traditional academic degree and athletics programs, the University places significant emphasis on evolving all dimensions of the student: intellectual, spiritual, physical, artistic, financial, familial and vocational. A key delivery vehicle for this approach is OUAZ’s Adawe Center, which pairs a life coach with each student upon registration who will remain with the student throughout their enrollment at the university, helping them identify and pursue their degree and life paths, and preparing them to pursue their desired vocation upon graduation. Another distinctive element of OUAZ is “personal growth days.” No classes are held on Wednesdays so students may take part in chapel, attend the numerous personal and professional skills development conferences and workshops offered throughout the year, take part in volunteer or service activities, and share a meal together with faculty and staff.

OUAZ’s unique FlexTerm academic calendar offers a 21st century approach to enable students to learn how and when they want to learn. Courses are offered in formats that run for four weeks, eight weeks, or in more traditional semester-length time frames. With this format, students will typically take just two courses at a time, allowing them the benefit of concentration vs. fragmentation (when trying to balance four or five courses in a traditional semester system). The OUAZ FlexTerm calendar encourages students to tailor their educational experience and investment to go deeper into their studies while also interspersing their classroom learning with internships, service learning, international and cross-cultural study programs. It also allows students to accelerate toward graduation in less than four years and even to combine master’s degree studies within their educational plan, enabling OUAZ graduates to enter the job market with a combination of degrees.

OUAZ will be introducing the Ottawa Alliance for Quality Christian Education, a network of not-for-profit mission-based organizations that are interested in supporting a Christ-inspired community of grace throughout their educational institutions and the world. The Alliance aims to reduce the cost of Christian education, increase enrollment at Christ-focused schools and encourage enrollment at Ottawa University. Scholarships for students; faculty, staff and board members; and, faculty spouses and student parents will be available.

Of particular interest for strong academic and service-minded students will be the prestigious Founders and Pioneer Scholarships targeted for well-qualified and motivated students who will serve with OUAZ to shape student culture at the new campus. A limited number of these scholars can begin serving the institution this spring by working with prospective students and their families.

“We are a steadfastly Christian, positively open and inclusive university empowering students from around the world and every background to become ‘whole’ people, to develop their passions and abilities, and be ready to face the world when they graduate from OUAZ,” said Eichner. “We are proud to be bringing a full-fledged residential university experience to Surprise and to our future students.”

The OUAZ leadership team includes: Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Provost; Keith Johnson, Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Amy Hogan, Dean of Instruction; Brandon Fowler, Dean of Student Experience; Dr. David Barnes, Executive Director of University Advancement, Arizona; and Kevin Steele, Director of Athletics.

Additional faculty hires are underway, with a number of key athletic coaching positions already filled. Student recruitment for August enrollment has begun.

For enrollment information and to learn more about OUAZ Surprise, visit www.ottawa.edu/Surprise.


About Ottawa University

Founded in 1865, Ottawa University prepares professional and liberal arts graduates for lifetimes of personal significance, vocational fulfillment and service to God and humanity as a Christ-inspired community of grace and opening inquiry. Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution serving more than 4,000 students through its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kan., and Surprise, Ariz. (opening Fall 2017), and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kan.; Phoenix, Queen Creek and Surprise, Ariz.; Brookfield, Wis.; Jeffersonville, Ind.; and online. For more information, visit www.ottawa.edu.