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Bill Bayless


2019 Inductee

As chief executive officer, Bill provides the guiding vision for American Campus Communities. Known for his contagious enthusiasm and true passion for student success, he is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on student housing— having been featured in Fortune Magazine, NYSE Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and having appeared on CNBC.

Beginning his career as a Resident Assistant at West Virginia University, Bill went on to co-found American Campus Communities in 1993. Today, American Campus Communities is the nation’s largest developer, owner and manager of high-quality student housing with over 133,000 students calling an American Campus community home. Over his 30-year career, Bill has been involved in the development and acquisition of over $13 billion of student housing assets.

In 2004, Bill led the student housing industry to a new plateau when American Campus Communities became the first publicly-traded student housing company in the nation. The company received national accolades as “One of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies” by Forbes and as the “Development Firm of the Year” by the National Association of Home Builders. American Campus Communities has also been named a “Great Places to Work” and “Best Companies to Work for in Texas”.

In 2017, Bill was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the category of real estate, construction and lodging.

On the charitable front, Bill serves as the Chairman and was instrumental in the formation of American Campus Charity Foundation, which supports charitable activities focused on youth and education in ACC’s hometown of Austin, Texas, as well as in the local communities served by ACC properties.

Bayless graduated in 1986 from the then-WVU College of Business and Economics. He is married to his WVU college sweetheart, Jamie, and they have two children and four grandchildren.