AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When Campus Advantage opened its doors for the first time on March 3, 2003, Finding Nemo topped the box office, Saddam Hussein still ruled Iraq and work had yet to even begin on what would become the iPhone. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110322/DA69574LOGO) A lot has happened in the 10 years since. The company started with just five employees and one client -- a 571-bed property. It now operates 50 student housing communities across 20 states, employs more than 600 people and manages $1.5 billion in assets. Its more than 12,000 units provide housing to 28,000 students. Co-founder and CEO Mike Peter said Campus Advantage was founded at a time when many student housing companies were focusing on development and acquisition but neglecting the process of managing the student housing experience. Peter and his business partners started the firm to give student residents a living experience rather than just a roof and four walls. That guiding principle still forms the foundation of the company and its approach to doing business. Peter's own experience as a Resident Assistant while an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin helped form the guiding philosophy of Campus Advantage and shaped the company's vision of providing services to residents as a way to help "create a world where more people are leading successful and enriched lives." The company's highly successful Students First Residence Life Program™ supports that vision by providing residents with the resources they need to succeed personally, academically and socially. "At Campus Advantage, we don't want to just put roofs over students' heads," Peter said. "We want to help create tomorrow's leaders by providing students with the resources they need to succeed in college and in life."