Tag Archives: Ottawa University

November 29, 2018 • Newsletter

Mayor Selection

It is with the most sincere gratitude that I take on a new position after the Surprise City Council unanimously selected me to serve as the city’s next mayor. I will serve in this capacity until December 31, 2020, fulfilling the remaining mayoral term vacated by Sharon Wolcott on November 16, 2018. For those of you who don’t know me, I have served on the city council since 2008 and was most recently re-elected to the District 5 seat in the 2018 Primary Election. I served as Vice Mayor in 2011 and 2014. I also served three years as a city Planning and Zoning Commission member before being elected to the City Council.

Mayor Skip Hall swearn in by City Clerk

It is my hope to accomplish many things with City Council and staff. Some of my goals include: the anticipation of funding through budget priorities for our police and fire to ensure our city remains safe and secure through our next growth cycle; through vigilant budget review and department by department justification, work to insure that our financial strength and sustainability is maintained; and to maximize the education benefit to our youth by encouraging and facilitating, where possible, the cooperation and synergy of our new residential university, Ottawa, as well as West-MEC vocational school, Dysart Unified School District and our several charter schools. I also want us to work with our Economic Development Department to attract private investment to produce an entertainment venue for teens and to attract more entertainment and restaurant operators. We hope to continue to work with City Center landowners and staff on an updated vision that’s unique to Surprise and is adaptable to the market.

Thank you for your continued support and your ongoing trust. I look forward to working with Council, our various partners and serving the residents of this great city.


District 5 Council Vacancy

The city is currently accepting applications for the position of Councilmember for District 5 (Palm) due to my appointment as Mayor earlier this month. All District 5 applicants must reside within District 5 boundaries. The term expiration for the appointment will be December 31, 2020, and the remainder of the four-year term will be placed on the next scheduled Council election in August 20, 2020 per ARS 9-235 (The council shall fill a vacancy that may occur by appointment until the next regularly scheduled council election if the vacancy occurs more than thirty days before the nomination petition deadline. This subsection does not apply to a charter city). The Interview/Selection process is as follows:

Section 2-22 of the Surprise City Code – Council/District Vacancy:

(1) Vacancies in district office will be advertised beginning no later than 14 days from the date the vacancy is created when caused by death, and seven days from the date the vacancy is created in all other cases. The city clerk will advertise all vacancies in at least one newspaper with local circulation, on the city website, and in all designated posting locations during the application acceptance period. (Date of Advertisement – Monday, November 26, 2018).

(2) All eligible persons interested in filling the district vacancy must submit an application to the city clerk’s office prior to the close of the acceptance period. The application acceptance period will end at 5:00 p.m. on the 14th day following the placement of the advertisement as required by subsection (1) of this section. (Monday, December 10th, 2018).

(3) No later than the end of the business day following the close of the application acceptance period, the city clerk will forward to the mayor and council and post on the city website a copy of all applications submitted during the application acceptance period (Tuesday, December 11, 2018).

(4) The council will interview each applicant at a public hearing held no later than ten days following the close of the application acceptance period, followed by a seven-day period during which public comment may be submitted to the city clerk’s office (Interview/Public Hearing – Thursday, December 20, 2018 – 4:00 p.m. & Close of Comments (Thursday, December 27, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.).

(5) No later than the end of the business day following the close of the public comment period, the city clerk will forward to the mayor and council and post on the city website a copy of all comments submitted during the comment period (Friday, December 28, 2018).

(6) A district candidate must be selected no later than the second regularly scheduled council meeting following the public hearing (Thursday, January 3, 2019 or Tuesday, January 15, 2019 – 6:00 p.m.).

Applications are available for pick up the City Clerk’s Office, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, starting on Monday, November 26, 2018 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and the closing date will be Monday, December 10, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.

Interviews will be scheduled for Thursday, December 20, 2018 at a Special Council Meeting (4:00 p.m.).

Selection of the applicant will take place on Thursday, January 3, 2019 or Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 6:00 p.m. Regular Council Meeting. Applications are also available online @ www.surpriseaz.gov, under City Clerk section. Please submit applications to the City Clerk’s Office.


Did You Know?

Surprise Youth Services College Readiness Summit

The first annual Surprise Youth Services College Readiness Summit was held on Saturday, November 17 at the Ottawa University campus here in Surprise. The 40 attending high school seniors were treated to a variety of workshops focused on helping them gain tools for success in college or trade school next year. Attendees learned about budgeting and how to be money smart in the Financial Literacy workshop facilitated by a financial advisor from Mid-First Bank. They engaged in thoughtful conversation about how they spend their time and learned how to break down big goals into smaller, easy to manage steps in the Time Management and Goal Setting workshop. In the Physical Wellness workshop, facilitated by doctoral students from Mid-Western University, they created a personal wheel of wellness and examined how all of the various parts of life such as nutrition, sleep, stress, finances, and more, work together to contribute to overall wellness. Lastly, in a workshop facilitated by two students who currently attend Northern Arizona University, attendees heard the inside scoop about “Things They Don’t Tell You About Your First Year of College.” They learned the importance of making connections on campus, how to deal with the inevitable homesickness, how to maintain a healthy relationship with family as they work to be independent, resources for first-gen students, and more. Lunch was catered by Lolo’s and Papi’s Tacos, a local mobile taqueria. Attendance at the summit was a qualifying step in the application process for the first ever Surprise Youth Services Scholarship where three winners will share a total of $7,000. Stay tuned as winners will be announced in mid-February!

Surprise Fire Station 305 Holiday Celebration

Residents from the community gathered together at Surprise Fire Station 305 to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on Monday, November 19. Residents wanted to ensure the firefighters working on the holiday had time to celebrate the holiday in advance. Many thanks to our generous community members who contributed!

residents and members of Surprise Fire Station 305

My Surprise Community Engagement App Now Available

The city has launched a new way for residents to connect with city services and reminders, the My Surprise app! When you download My Surprise, you’ll join our community of vigilant residents who want to help Surprise be one of the cleanest, most well-maintained cities in Arizona.

My Surprise transforms your smart devices into tools that assist with reporting city-maintained service requests such as broken street lights, potholes on city streets, graffiti, flooded roadways and more! The app also provides users a way to connect with City Council members and receive refuse reminders, such as changes to the schedule due to holidays. Plus, My Surprise is easy to use! Reporting a concern is as simple as logging in, typing a brief description of the issue and pressing send; you can even upload video, audio and image files! My Surprise even allows you to pinpoint the exact location of your service request.

My Surprise was designed for a community who cares about the appearance and functionality of city-maintained spaces. Join us, and let’s build a beautiful, safe city we can all enjoy; download the app now and show your love for My Surprise! The My Surprise app is now available for download in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Learn more about My Surprise at www.surpriseaz.gov/mysurprise.

My Surprise App

Bullard Ave traffic signals at Acoma, Sweetwater intersections active week of Dec 3

The traffic signals at the Acoma Drive and Sweetwater Avenue intersections will be activated on Monday, December 3.

Barring changes to the schedule, signals will flash red for 48 hours through Tuesday, December 4. Motorists are reminded to treat the intersections as four-way stops while the signals are flashing red.

The new traffic signals, featuring flashing yellow arrows on north and south signal pole masts, will be fully operational on Wednesday, December 5. Surprise police officers will assist with traffic control during the signal activation.

Work hours for this week are Monday – Saturday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; traffic barricades along the roadway are scheduled to be removed on Sunday, December 2.

Crews are scheduled to stripe lanes along Bullard Avenue on Monday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 4; thermoplastic striping will be placed late December.

The speed limit in the construction area remains 25 mph except in school zones where the speed limit is 15 mph. Please proceed with caution through the project area and remember to Drive Wise, Surprise!

For project-related questions, contact Suneel Garg at 623.222.6130. To learn more about the Bullard Ave project, visit www.surpriseaz.gov/bullard.


Mark Your Calendar

Annual Surprise Party

Come celebrate with the City of Surprise at the 17th annual Surprise Party on November 30 and December 1 at the Surprise Recreation Campus! This fun-filled event offers a variety of activities and entertainment experiences, and admission is free with a canned food or toy donation benefiting Sanderson Ford Operation Santa Claus. Here’s what you can expect:

Friday, November 30 (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.) will include a traditional tree lighting ceremony, a hot air balloon glow, Arizona Skyhawks Skydivers, great food, live musical performances from “The Chadwicks” and “SMASHED,” fireworks and ice skating. Plus, Santa’s Workshop offers a free opportunity for youth of all ages to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus while enjoying arts and crafts, cookies, and fun! Friday’s event will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Stadium Plaza, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. Fireworks will begin approximately at 8:55 p.m.

Saturday, December 1 (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) will include an arts and crafts festival, classic car show, interactive games, camel rides, a petting zoo, clowns, face painters, inflatables, gingerbread house contest, ice skating and much more! Throughout the day, enjoy a variety of entertainment, including performances by the City of Surprise dance programs. Concessions will be available for purchase. Saturday’s events will be held at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Mark Coronado Park, north of Surprise Stadium.

For additional event information, please contact the Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department at 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseparty.

Ottawa University Victory Bowl

The OUAZ football team has accepted an invitation from the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) to serve as host and participant in the 2018 NCCAA Victory Bowl Invitational. The Spirit will welcome Olivet Nazarene to Spirit Field on Friday, November 30 at 7 p.m.

The 2018 Victory Bowl will mark the 21st straight year the NCCAA will award a Victory Bowl champion. Fox 10’s Cory McClosky came out today to preview the game, so I hope we will have a big crowd tomorrow night to cheer on our home team! Best of luck to our OUAZ football team and Coach Mike Nesbitt!

Surprise Fire Medical Open Houses

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is holding a series of open houses at city fire stations. Residents can come out and meet the firefighters, check out the living and eating quarters, walk through the bays and see the fire trucks! Attendees will also get a look at the medical equipment, firefighting gear and tools used on emergency calls.

Dates for the open houses are as follows:

  • Saturday, December 8 – Station 307, 16171 W. Cactus Rd.
  • Saturday, January 5 – Station 302, 18600 N. Reems Rd.
  • Saturday, January 19 – Station 304, 24900 N. 163rd Ave.
  • Saturday, February 2 – Station 305, 15517 N. Parkview Pl.
  • Saturday, February 16 – Station 306, 16645 W. Clearview Blvd.
  • Saturday, March 2 – Station 303, 15440 N. Cotton Ln.

All open houses will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, please call the Surprise Fire-Medical Department administration line at 623.222.5000.

City of Surprise “Deck the Hock” Event

Please join us for the city’s 2nd annual “Deck the Hock” event on December 11, and help set the holiday spirit by bringing an ornament to decorate one of eight themed trees! “Deck the Hock” is a free, family-friendly event that will be held on Tuesday, December 11 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. It includes performances by local school choirs, hot cocoa, tree decorating and more.

You can also join in on the tree decorating by bringing a new or handmade ornament that fits one of the following tree themes: Candy Canes; Legos; Sports; Patriotic; Animals; Snowflakes; Red; North Pole. In addition, you can also decorate a luminaria bag for the event. Simply pick up a blank luminaria from the Surprise Senior Center, take it home to decorate it, and then return it by 4 p.m. on Friday, December 7 so it can be displayed.

For more information, please contact Joe Gladieux at joe.gladieux@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1500.


I would like to wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season. Moving forward and as your Mayor, I will be issuing a monthly newsletter beginning in January. I look forward to serving you in this capacity and keeping you updated. Thank you!

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.