November 15 marked the start of a new chapter for our organization. Effective that day, Great Lakes is now Ascendium Education Group. We’re excited to embark on this new leg of our collective journey.
Why have we changed our name? This transition was nearly a year in the making. It sprang from the acquisition early this year of Great Lakes’ student loan servicing business, Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc., by fellow servicer Nelnet. Ascendium consists of the remaining Great Lakes companies that were not part of the acquisition, including our student loan guaranty operations, our philanthropy division and our Attigo line of student success solutions for colleges.
A Change in Name, Not Priorities
So how does this “rebranding” impact our philanthropy partners and our current and prospective grantees? Not much at all, it turns out. While we regularly reevaluate our philanthropy goals and strategy, that happens independent of names and logos. Our company has focused on expanding opportunity through the power of higher education for over half a century, and that will not change. Our grantmaking has grown significantly over the past decade, and we expect that trend to continue as well.
How did we arrive at the name Ascendium? There’s no mystery to what we were trying to evoke with that choice. It’s all about elevating opportunity. About providing people with tools that help them fulfill their potential. And about eliminating obstacles that stand in the way of achieving dreams, especially obstacles that disproportionately affect students of color, students from low-income households and students who are the first in their family to pursue postsecondary education.
“This new chapter in our history provides an opportunity to recommit ourselves to our philanthropic mission,” said Ascendium Chairman, President and CEO Richard D. George. “Our focus on helping students achieve the education goals that matter most to them is stronger than ever.”
Amy Kerwin, Vice President—Education Philanthropy concurs. “The new name and new brand align perfectly with the goals we pursue in collaboration with our grant partners,” she said. “They will inspire all of us to aim high.”