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Phoenix Forward

Hello, (campus of the) Future!

Going to class at the University of Phoenix Washington DC Campus means walking through a reception area that literally says, “Welcome,” entering a stairwell that invites students to “Take it to the next level,” and stepping into brand-new classrooms featuring affirmations on the walls, including “New ideas unfolding,” and “Tomorrow begins today.”

This new, text-based graphic journey is the result of an extensive remodel of the five-year-old campus.

“It’s definitely not your stuffy, wood-paneled office space on Capitol Hill,” noted Jason Pfaff, vice president of the northwest region for the University. “It’s modern, inviting and very representative of who we are: a welcoming and supportive institution.”

Located just blocks from Capitol Hill, the campus is often used for meetings with government representatives and decision-makers, Pfaff said, so it’s important that the space makes the right impression about the University’s message and values.

A fresh coat of paint, brand-new classrooms and text-based wall graphics are a visual extension of the University’s brand and values at the Washington DC campus.


“Sen. [Rand] Paul visited us a few weeks ago for 30 minutes. That’s all he’ll probably ever know about the University. It’s important that we make that type of meeting an impactful 30 minutes,” explained Pfaff.

Pfaff oversaw the nine-month remodeling project that involved cutting a hole in the floor to create an interior stairwell and building out the bottom floor for more classrooms. A new conference room also was added. And the Student Resource Center was upgraded to include small Learning Team meeting rooms with privacy glass, plus a Research Center with public computers available.

“Our students and faculty love the new look and say it’s a great learning environment,” Pfaff noted.

Is this a template for remodeling other campuses? “It’s possible,” Pfaff mused. “Everything that the University does should build upon and support our values. With more than 100 locations, not every place needs such extensive work, but it will be great to see what other campuses do to carry out our brand look and feel.”

Chas Edelstein and Greg Cappelli cut the ribbon at the grand re-opening, as local VIPs look on. Edelstein and Cappelli are co-CEOs of Apollo Education Group, Inc., parent company of University of Phoenix.

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