Grand Canyon Education (“GCE”) was founded in 1949 as a Christian liberal arts university. GCE provides undergraduate and master’s degrees through both online and campus-based formats, with an emphasis on education and nursing degrees. GCE is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which allows its students to be eligible to receive government-sponsored aid through Title IV funds regulated by the U.S. Department of Education.
In 2004, GCE was purchased by Brent and Chris Richardson and other investors, who transitioned GCE from a not-for-profit to a for-profit institution. Endeavour partnered with management in 2005, providing the business with growth capital. Endeavour was attracted to GCE due to strong industry fundamentals and management’s deep experience in the education industry. At the time of our investment, GCE was losing money and in danger of shutting down due to insolvency. Management subsequently restored profitability and continues to generate impressive top-line growth each year, both through its primary campus and its online programs. With Endeavour’s participation, the Company made considerable investments in its management team and infrastructure. In July 2008, Brian Mueller, former President of Apollo Group, was hired as CEO and in November 2008, GCE successfully completed an initial public offering (Nasdaq: LOPE).