Capella Education Company today announced that Stephen G. Shank, the company's founder and former CEO, will retire from the board of directors when his current term ends in May 2017. Mr. Shank founded the company in 1991 and served as chief executive officer until March 2009. He was chairman of the board of directors until February 2010, and has since continued to serve as a distinguished member of the board.

"The work Capella is doing to transform the landscape of adult education is possible because of Steve Shank and the foundation he laid. Steve's vision, leadership and determination changed the face of what is possible in adult education. I'm personally grateful for his service on our Board of Directors and for his wise counsel," said Kevin Gilligan, chairman and chief executive officer of Capella Education Company.

Mr. Shank has been involved with Capella Education Company for more than 25 years and is well known for his ability to work through strategic challenges and industry revolution. During the 1980s, as CEO of Tonka Corp., he led the company through acquisitions and new products. At Capella Education Company, he led the company to success during a time of significant change in higher education and in the macroeconomic environment. Mr. Shank has made great contributions to many local boards outside of Capella, including Polaris Industries, Tennant Company, and the Walker Art Center, and in 2016 was recognized by the Twin Cities Business Journal and the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) with a Lifetime Achievement award for his years of dedicated board service and recognized ability to look at long-term trends and provide counsel that leaders need.

Mr. Shank served as a director of Capella University from 1993 to 2003 and 2006 to 2009, and as emeritus director of Capella University from 2003 to 2006. He earned a B.A. from the University of Iowa, an M.A. from the Fletcher School, a joint program of Tufts and Harvard Universities, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

About Capella Education Company

Capella Education Company ( is an educational services company that provides access to high-quality education through online postsecondary degree programs and job-ready skills offerings needed in today's market. Capella's portfolio of companies is dedicated to closing the skills gap by providing the most direct path between learning and employment.

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