forbes logoJuly 10, 2007 - Grantham University, an online university specializing in educating working adults, has appointed John Ashford, chairman and CEO of the Hawthorn Group, an international public affairs firm which he co-founded 15 years ago, to its Board of Governors. The Hawthorn Group advises Fortune 100 companies in the electric utility, banking, cosmetics, energy, food and beverage, gaming, insurance, hospital, legal and security industries.

"We're proud to have John Ashford on our Board of Governors," said Thomas M. Macon, chairman of Grantham University. "Mr. Ashford brings respected corporate and government experience to Grantham University. His background with other leading educational institutions will be of great benefit to us."

A native of Marshall, Missouri, Ashford attended Missouri State University and received his Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Missouri Valley College, where he served on the board for nearly 20 years and from which he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. He now co-chairs Missouri Valley's Presidential Task Force on strategic planning. Ashford earned his Master's in Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he served for a decade on the Dean's Advisory Council.

"Having achieved the best combination of teaching and learning qualities found in great 'bricks-and-mortar' institutions, coupled with the immediate access, availability and affordability of the Internet, Grantham University stands as a leader crossing the frontier into the next generation of innovative education," said John Ashford, chairman and CEO of The Hawthorn Group. "Grantham is responding creatively, effectively and professionally, at the highest academic standards, to its students' needs."

Additionally, Ashford has served as a senior staff member in Missouri state government and in congress for members of both the House and the Senate before starting a career in political campaigns that brought him into scores of campaigns across six continents. A frequent speaker on corporate platforms, his academic lectures assignments have taken him all over the country and world. He has also served as a consultant to the Hershey School and to the University of Missouri.

Grantham University offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Criminal Justice, Business Administration, General Studies, Computer Science, and other technology related fields. Grantham's degree programs are flexible and self-paced, allowing students to complete their coursework at times and places that fit their busy schedules.

Grantham's faculty, administration, and advisors are comprised of educators, business executives, industry professionals and entrepreneurs. Among the advisors are Dr. Herbert I. London, founder, endowed chair, and former Dean of Students at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study; David E. Baker, Brig. Gen. (USAF, Ret.), a decorated fighter pilot and Senior Vice President for the Stanford Washington Research Group; and Rear Admiral Karen Harmeyer, former Chief Staff Officer, Navy Surgeon General, OPNAV 093R.