Mesa Center for Higher Education opens Thursday - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa Center for Higher Education opens Thursday

New home to Westminster College, Wilkes University

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Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 7:42 pm | Updated: 8:08 pm, Tue Aug 13, 2013.

Westminster College and Wilkes University will have a building of their own Thursday in Mesa after the grand opening ceremony of the Mesa Center for Higher Education.

The ceremony will be held 10 a.m. at 245 W. Second St. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and District 4 Council member Chris Glover will be in attendance.

The colleges are just two of the newest higher education schools coming to the Mesa. In the last two years, Westminster and Wilkes joined Benedictine University, Upper Iowa University, Albright College and — the latest — Grand Canyon University in announcing new campuses in the city.

Wilkes, with a home base in Pennsylvania, started offering graduate level business and creative writing courses earlier this year, holding classes at the Phoenix/Mesa Marriott, Wilkes University vice president Michael Speziale told the Tribune last month.

“My long-term vision is this will grow. The potential is for this to grow into a standalone campus,” he said.

Westminster is opening its first campus outside of Missouri with the Mesa school. Its classes begin Aug. 22 for students in English, environmental science, environmental studies, international business, and transnational studies.

The city renovated the former municipal courthouse to be the home for Westminster and Wilkes. The building has 19 classrooms, as well as science laboratories and a computer lab.

Upper Iowa University held its grand opening earlier this month in renovated space in the Fiesta District. Albright College also offers classes in the Fiesta District.

Benedictine University will hold a ribbon cutting and blessing at its academic building, Gillett Hall, on Aug. 27.

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