Challenge Coins – A Treasured Legacy

Origin stories for Challenge Coins involve pilots in the First World War, Soldiers in World War II, infantry in Korea and Special Forces in Vietnam. There is even evidence that ancient Roman soldiers may have prized a similar type of coin.

Whatever the history, carrying specially designed coins has evolved into a popular way to boost morale, recognize accomplishments and prove unit allegiance. But be careful, because being coinless when “challenged” can have consequences – the most popular of which is buying drinks for the challengers.

The Grantham University Challenge Coin offers a glimpse into the very soul of our organization. Each design element on the coin has meaning. And we enjoy sharing these insights with those we coin:

Front Coin

On the obverse is Grantham’s foremost symbol, our heraldic shield and ribbon. The shield is divided by alternating fields of blue, signifying Truth and Loyalty, and white, meaning Peace and Sincerity

Gothic Arches

Representing the individual colleges and schools that support the growth and sustainability of the larger University


Symbolizing a bridge to a successful future through education and the attainment of knowledge


Bearing a message we take to heart every day at Grantham, the phrase “Praestantia et Eruditio,” Excellence and Learning


Metaphorically holds the other elements of the shield together while demonstrating that education is the foundation of a global society

Open Book

The emblem of lifelong learning

Back Coin

On the reverse, we offer another shield and ribbon. This time, all the elements are ringed by a blue outer circle, a symbol of unity and continuity, featuring our institution’s name: Grantham University

Outer Circle

Bearing the University’s name and four words that symbolize our deepest mission: Serving Those Who Serve

Bald Eagle

Representing the winning spirit of our students and staff


Inscribed on the shield is the year 1951, the year WWII veteran Donald Grantham founded our school

American Flag

Waving below is the element that represents the foundation of our every endeavor … the flag to which we pledge out allegiance



At our core, Grantham is, has been and always will be committed to serving the educational needs of our military servicemen and women. To honor those who serve and in recognition of their dedication, we embossed the names of each of our nation’s five uniformed military services on the edge of the coin.

At Grantham University, we believe the act of coining is an honor for the recipient and the giver. We take great pride in presenting our coins to worthy recipients like you. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to enjoy that honor.