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11 Things You Didn’t Know About Arizona’s Colleges


*Photo credit: Tom Story*

With the school year kicking off, we thought we should share some fats that you might not know about Arizona’s colleges.

11. University of Phoenix is the largest online school in the U.S.
Based in the Valley, this university has 263,000 students, the largest online school in the nation.

10. Phoenix College athletics are quite the smarties
Since the 2000-2001 school year, 86 of the Phoenix College athletic teams have been named NJCAA – All Academic Teams.

9. No one knows where Glendale Community College’s mascot came from
The Glendale Gaucho is the mascot of GCC and, although the South American cowboy does embody the attitude of the old southwest, the origin of this symbol is lost in the college’s early history.

8. Maroon and gold have been ASU’s colors for a long time
For more than a century, in fact! The colors were established in 1896.

7. Scottsdale Community College’s mascot was a prank
The student body of the community college in 1971 was angered by the amount of money that was dedicated to athletics, so they expressed their dissatisfaction by voting for the artichoke to be the mascot and pink and white to be their school colors. The athletic department put their foot down about the colors, but the mascot stuck and is not part of the school’s charm.

6. ASU has a lot of classrooms
There are about 500 classrooms spread across the four campuses.

5. Mesa Community College has a very low average class size
With the average class size being 22 students, MCC is a great fit for those who think they might want a more personal experience and plenty of one-on-one time with professors.

4. NAU is older than you thought
Northern Arizona University first opened in 1899 with one professor, two copies of Webster’s International Dictionary bound in sheepskin and 23 students. It’s said that the first president of the school rode horse and buggy through the countryside to fill the single school building, what is now known as Old Main, with students.

3. ASU has seen some major name changes
You would think that Arizona State University would be a pretty obvious name, but when the school was founded in 1885 it was named Territorial Normal School of Tempe. A few other name changes occurred, including Normal School of Arizona and Tempe State Teachers College, before finally becoming Arizona State University in 1958.

2. U of A has a few famous alumni
Celebrity graduates of U of A include: Kourtney Kardashian, Greg Kinnear, Craig T. Nelson, Linda McCartney, Kate Walsh, Kristen Wiig and Rob Gronkowski.

1. ASU is the largest university in the U.S.
With 59,382 students, ASU has the largest enrollment of undergraduates in the U.S. for a traditional brick-and-mortar school, according to U.S. News and World Report.


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