Student success is our story.
25 years of creating communities where students love living.®
Bill Bayless starts his journey from RA to CEO.
American Campus Communities Co-founder and CEO Bill Bayless was a resident assistant at West Virginia University when he envisioned a paradigm shift in student housing: modern, living-learning communities designed to promote academic success.
At WVU’s Summit Hall, Bill juggled jobs as RA, night desk clerk, dishwasher, grill cook and weekend janitor.
Bill’s best college memories: meeting his wife and watching the WVU football team beat Penn State for the first time in 29 years.
BEFORE YOGA, THERE WAS AEROBICS
THE NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM WAS RELEASED
A housing leader, homegrown in Austin.
With less than $3,000, a 29-year-old Bill Bayless moved his young family to Austin, where he co-founded American Campus Lifestyles Companies (later ACC). The company had only one management contract but an ambitious mission: To be the nation’s premier provider of quality student housing communities and services.
Dobie: An entrepreneurial address.
Our first student housing management contract was with Dobie Center, next to The University of Texas at Austin. Our office was down the hall from the dorm room where Michael Dell started Dell!
Dobie Center in Austin, TX
Food court at Dobie Center
Dobie Center apartment
A bright idea to save schools money.
When structuring the transaction at Langston University, we pioneered our tax-exempt bond financing model, which gives universities a lower cost of capital and improved cash flow.
WAYNE TAYLOR, VP FACILITIES
TUPAC SHAKUR AND THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. MET FOR THE FIRST TIME.
“FRIENDS” DEBUTED AND BECAME MUST-SEE TV ON CAMPUSES NATIONWIDE.
A sold-out debut!
Our first PVAMU community, University Village, opened with 100 percent occupancy and 400 students on the waitlist. We developed housing for 2,000+ more students over the next two years.
Courtyard at University Village
University Village at PVAMU
Basketball court at PVAMU
ALANIS MORISSETTE RELEASED “JAGGED LITTLE PILL,” ONE OF THE BESTSELLING ALBUMS OF THE 90S.
MATCH.COM BECAME THE FIRST ONLINE DATING SITE.
THE SONY PLAYSTATION MADE ITS U.S. DEBUT
New name, new look.
We changed our name from American Campus Lifestyles Companies to American Campus Communities and introduced a new logo, which we use to this day.
Investors ignite our entrepreneurial growth.
Reckson Opportunity Partners gave us the venture capital we needed to pursue acquisitions and our first off-campus development projects. They also acquired the majority interest in ACC.
"TITANIC" BECAME THE HIGHEST-GROSSING MOVIE EVER—UNTIL JAMES CAMERON OUTDID HIMSELF WITH AVATAR IN 2009.
TIGER WOODS WON HIS FIRST MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP, THE MASTERS.
THE FIRST HARRY POTTER BOOK WAS RELEASED, LAUNCHING THE BEST-SELLING CHILDREN BOOK SERIES.
We made our first acquisitions at Arizona State University and the University of Georgia, bringing these communities new amenities and services.
Expanding to the Empire State.
We packed our down coats and expanded to the northeast, opening Hadley Village at the State University of New York at Buffalo. This was the SUNY system’s first privatized housing.
“…BABY ONE MORE TIME” INTRODUCED THE WORLD TO BRITNEY SPEARS.
MUSIC-SHARING SITE NAPSTER DEBUTED, DISRUPTING THE RECORDING INDUSTRY FOREVER.
MAMTA MOTWANI ACCAPADI
UC Irvine: from commuter school to community.
We helped the University of California, Irvine woo more students by developing spaces that wowed them. Our pioneering partnership reshaped UCI’s East Campus and transformed it into a destination residential school. It was the University of California system’s first student housing public-private partnership, and ACC’s largest-ever project using our tax-exempt bond financing model.
Modern student community
Basketball at Vista del Campo
Fulfilling PVAMU's live‑learn vision.
We opened University College, a living-learning community designed to meet first-year students’ unique needs. Student counseling programs, building configurations and staffing ratios are all designed to enhance student retention
Bill takes the lead.
After 10 years as ACC’s co-founder and chief operating officer, Bill Bayless took the job of president and CEO. His experience and passion would take us from good to great.
Promoting from within.
We launched Inside Track, which mentors selected community assistants to become general managers. More than 66 percent of our general managers and 45 percent of our executives started as community assistants.
Building a foundation for giving back.
We established the American Campus Charity Foundation to extend our mission of building community and empowering young people. We’ve given more than $3 million – and thousands of volunteer hours – to nonprofits providing youth with education, shelter and wellbeing.
“LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING” COMPLETED THE TRILOGY AND SWEPT THE OSCARS.
THE WHITE STRIPES RELEASED “SEVEN NATION ARMY,” WHICH WOULD GO ON TO BECOME A COLLEGE SPORTING ANTHEM.
IN THE CULT CLASSIC “OLD SCHOOL,” WILL FERRELL AND HIS 30-SOMETHING FRIENDS RE-LIVED THEIR COLLEGE DAYS.
Ring the bell! ACC's IPO.
ACC was the first student housing company to consummate its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange (at $17.50 per share). Our IPO opened Wall Street’s eyes to the industry’s potential, enabled us to reclaim ownership from our venture capital investors, and established student housing as a well-respected global asset class.
OUTKAST’S “HEY YA!” WAS THE YEAR’S RUNAWAY HIT.
MICHAEL PHELPS WON HIS FIRST GOLD MEDAL—STARTING TOWARD HIS RECORD-BREAKING COUNT OF 23.
Introducing ACE: a paradigm shift in project funding.
Working with Arizona State University on our Vista del Sol community, we pioneered the American Campus Equity (ACE)® program, an innovative new ownership model for on-campus student housing. With ACE, ACC brings our own equity to a project and serves as the university’s financial, development and operating partner. This enables universities to modernize their housing more quickly and cost-effectively, without using taxpayer funds.
Pool at Vista del Sol
Honoring the past, enabling the future.
Cleveland State University’s historic Fenn Tower high-rise was our first large-scale renovation project. Our $34 million makeover preserved the tower’s value and 1920s charm while creating amenities to serve modern students’ needs.
Let's expand to Canada, eh?
We went international, expanding our third-party management business and establishing Canadian Campus Communities as a subsidiary of ACC.
Setting a bold new standard in student townhomes.
We launched our award-winning Callaway Villas brand of townhome communities at Texas A&M University, introducing a new level of modern wellness amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness center and sand volleyball courts.
TWITTER LAUNCHED AND RAPIDLY GAINED WORLDWIDE POPULARITY.
THE DVD PLAYER ECLIPSED THE VCR IN POPULARITY AMONG AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS.
GNARLS BARKLEY RELEASED “CRAZY,” WHICH WOULD GO ON TO TOP MANY CRITICS’ “BEST SONG OF THE DECADE” LISTS.
Getting credit for our innovations.
Financial rating firm Moody’s issued its first report on American Campus Communities’ equity transactions. It determined that Arizona State University’s ACE®-funded Vista del Sol project would not be included in the direct or indirect debt ratios of ASU. This caused universities and institutions nationwide to take note of this innovative new transaction structure.
Say “Aloha!” to our sustainability standards.
At University of Hawaii – Manoa, we demonstrated our commitment to sustainability with our first LEED-certified building. ACC now leads the student housing industry in sustainability with 33 LEED-certified buildings. Our conservation of natural resources reflects students’ values, creates operating efficiencies, and is the right thing to do for our planet.
TERI BUMP, VP UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
ACC + GMH = a student housing superpower.
We acquired GMH Communities Trust, the only other publicly traded student housing company at the time. We doubled our workforce and became a $2 billion company. The merger grew ACC’s student housing portfolio to 83 communities with 51,600 beds, and it showed the scalability of our operating platform.
“RICKROLLING” BECAME ONE OF HISTORY’S MOST POPULAR INTERNET MEMES.
SPOTIFY LAUNCHED ITS
STREAMING MUSIC SERVICE.
STREAMING MUSIC SERVICE.
“THE DARK KNIGHT” REDEFINED THE COMIC-BOOK MOVIE.
We're in the Navy.
Homeport Hampton Roads in Norfolk, V.A, was the first and only military community American Campus Communities developed and managed. It houses 18- to 24-year-old members of the U.S. Navy, giving them the same support and amenities that our university residents enjoy in their first years away from home.
Building a campus, with honors.
We continued our partnership with Arizona State University by building its Barrett Honors College. This college is essentially an institution within an institution, with its own endowment, courses and faculty.
Academic study space
Barrett Honors College
“AVATAR” BECAME THE HIGHEST-GROSSING MOVIE OF ALL TIME.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA WON THE BCS COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP – AND WOULD GO ON TO WIN FIVE TITLES IN LESS THAN A DECADE.
A golden sustainability milestone.
Camino del Sol at the University of California, Irvine was the first ACC-developed community to earn LEED Gold certification.
ACC moved into its current headquarters at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave, Texas.
It's official: ACC is a solid investment.
We were the first student housing company to achieve investment grade ratings from both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. This gave universities added transparency and confidence that ACC is a partner they can count on for the long haul.
INSTAGRAM LAUNCHED WITH A PHOTO OF THE FOUNDER’S DOG.
TAYLOR SWIFT HAD A BREAKOUT YEAR AND SWEPT THE GRAMMYS.
This acquisition is all right, all right, all right.
American Campus Communities acquired The Castilian, an off-campus residence at The University of Texas at Austin. We found a box of old photos in a closet – including some shots of former resident Matthew McConaughey!
The Castilian at UT Austin
Modern student lounge
McConaughey at The Castilian
ACC made Forbes’ list of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.
ACC was named one of the Best Companies to Work for in Texas in Texas Monthly magazine.
“ROYALS” BY LORDE WAS THE TOP SONG.
GIFS EXPLODED IN POPULARITY AND BECAME THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY’S WORD OF THE YEAR.
Breaking the Gigabit barrier with blazingfast Internet.
The Callaway House Austin was the first U.S. student housing community with Internet connectivity speed of one Gigabit per second per resident. This technology breakthrough greatly enhanced productivity.
The Callaway House Austin
Austin skyline views
ACC enters the Ivy League.
Princeton’s Merwick Stanworth faculty and staff housing community was our first project at an Ivy League university. We later expanded our partnership to develop and manage Princeton graduate student housing.
ACC was again named to Forbes’ list of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.
Our first redevelopment: modernizing an ASU icon.
When ASU challenged us to find a way to save its beloved landmark Manzanita Hall, we reconfigured the dilapidated 1960s high rise into a modern layout that promotes academic performance, collaboration and community.
ASU students at Manzanita Hall
Manzanita Hall at ASU
ACC was named Development Firm of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders.
NETFLIX STARTED RELEASING ENTIRE SEASONS OF ITS SHOWS, SUCH AS “ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK”.
AMC’S “THE WALKING DEAD” IS TV’S BIGGEST HIT – A REMINDER THAT NETWORKS NO LONGER RULE.
A neighborhood revitalization draws students back to Drexel.
Between 2013 and 2016, ACC developed Chestnut Square and The Summit at University, and renovated University Crossings around Philadelphia’s Drexel University. This revitalized the University City neighborhood, connected the campus to the city, and created a model for the modern urban university. The Summit at University City was named after WVU’s Summit Hall, where ACC CEO Bill Bayless worked as a resident advisor.
The Summit at University City
Academic Success Center -The Summit
Our 100th development brings us back to our roots.
We broke ground on our 100th development, U Club Sunnyside at WVU, Bill Bayless’ alma mater. Now that’s a homecoming!
THE YEAR’S TOP SONG IS “UPTOWN FUNK” BY MARK RONSON AND BRUNO MARS.
THE U.S. WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM WON A RECORDSETTING THIRD WORLD CUP.
Bill Bayless earns accolades for his entrepreneurship.
Our CEO Bill Bayless has won many awards over his career, and in 2017 he was named the National Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the category of Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction. He was also inducted into WVU’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni. And national media outlets, business schools and industry events continued to seek his expertise.
Built to last: The largest U.S. engineering college.
At ASU we opened the Tooker House, the nation’s largest engineering residential college. This marked the sixth phase of our ASU partnership and our 33rd LEED certified building.
Tooker House at ASU
Tooker House courtyard
SERENA WILLIAMS WINS HER 23RD GRAND SLAM TITLE.
THE UNC TARHEELS MAKE THE FINAL FOUR FOR A RECORD 20TH TIME.
THE FIRST SOLAR ECLIPSE VISIBLE ACROSS CONTIGUOUS UNITED STATES SINCE 1918.
ACC to develop Disney, our long-time source of inspiration.
We have partnered with Walt Disney World to develop and own housing for Disney College Program participants. This partnership is a fitting commemoration of ACC’s 25th anniversary: When Bill Bayless traveled the country from 1993-1995 looking for our first partnership, he modeled his pitch on the “Disney Way” of superior customer experience.