Our Founder

Statement by Peter Sperling, Chairman and Greg Cappelli, Chief Executive Officer on the passing of John G. Sperling, Ph.D. Founder, Apollo Education Group, Inc. and University of Phoenix

“We are saddened to announce that our founder, Dr. John Sperling, passed away on Friday, August 22, 2014. Dr. Sperling’s vision, pioneering spirit and boundless resolve to improve the world through accessible higher education for working adult students provided a roadmap for families, nations and economies to evolve, advance, grow and prosper. Dr. Sperling’s indomitable ideas and life’s work served as a catalyst for innovations widely accepted as having made higher education more accessible to adult students.

“As we said last year in a ceremony held in his honor: John Sperling never backed down from a fight. As a boy, he fought sickness and poverty. As a young man, he fought for workers’ rights. Later, he championed the cause to help students who were ignored by the traditional higher education system. Finally, when he founded University of Phoenix, John Sperling challenged anyone who tried to stop him. As others have said before, ‘Anything worth having is worth fighting for.’ John Sperling lived these words every day of his life. Most importantly, he empowered those around him to do the same. His legacy, and ours, is to continue that fight.”

Reflections on the life of Dr. John G. Sperling »