Brian Mueller, president of Grand Canyon University, has been named a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in the Mountain Desert Region that encompasses Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. 
The award recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Winners will be announced at a gala on June 23 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Colorado. 
Mueller was nominated based on the remarkable transformation that has occurred at Grand Canyon University since he arrived in 2008. Taking over a school that had been on the verge of bankruptcy, Mueller has led a resurgence that has turned GCU into a driving force in higher education today. By implementing a business model unlike any other in higher education, Mueller has boosted enrollment on the round campus from 900 to 15,500, frozen tuition for eight straight years, raised academic standards and aligned the curriculum with high job growth fields, all while helping the surrounding neighborhood and larger community prosper. 
Giving back is the cornerstone of GCU’s mission, and Mueller has cultivated that spirit by building partnerships that have reduced crime in GCU’s neighborhood by 30 percent, raised home values by 30 percent, dramatically improved the performance of inner-city K-12 schools and encouraged students to pour themselves into countless community outreach projects. 
The award, founded by Ernst & Young LLP, is now in its 30th year and has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities in more than 60 countries throughout the world. Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year national program. National winners are announced Nov. 19 in Palm Springs, Calif. 
Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 19, 2016. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth ForumTM, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.  The US Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monaco, June 2017.