Gary Steensgard

Steensgard recognized at national conference in Miami and will speak at Grantham’s annual Commencement Ceremony in August.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 9, 2019) –Grantham University, an online university based in Lenexa, Kansas, announced today that its DEAC Outstanding Graduate for 2019 is Gary Steensgard, of Morristown, Tennessee. Steensgard was presented the award at the DEAC 93rd Annual Conference taking place this week (April 7-9, 2019), at the Kimpton Epic Hotel in Miami. DEAC (Distance Education Accreditation Commission) is a non-profit national educational accreditation agency in the United States specializing in the accreditation of distance education programs of study and institutions. Each year at its annual conference, it celebrates the outstanding graduates of the institutions it accredits.

Steensgard has received the distinction due to the career success he has attained as a result of his Grantham University online education. He is a former U.S. Army 1st Sgt. and upon transitioning into civilian life, recognized that an education would help him secure his future. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Grantham and is a textbook example of how distance education can transform a person’s life. Steensgard began his career at Meritor, a Fortune 500 auto components manufacturer, as a human resources supervisor and was quickly promoted to supervisor of human resources, safety and health operations. He is currently regional manager for human resources and safety at Ball Metalpack Inc., a global metal packaging company, in Dandridge, Tennessee. Steensgard has earned numerous awards for safety and led various internal employee teams including professional development, performance improvement and veteran’s affairs.

“I am able to apply necessary topics from my educational process to daily operations,” said Steensgard. “While the Army prepared me for much of my civilian work, the real-world technical education I received at Grantham was absolutely critical to my ongoing success by exposing me to timely business issues that I would not have encountered in the military. I would not have landed my great career without the assistance of Grantham and the quality education I received there.”

“Gary exemplifies what preparation – and a lot of grit and determination – can do for military service members looking forward to a fruitful next career in the civilian workforce,” said Anthony Petroy, Grantham’s Interim President and Provost. “We are so pleased that the knowledge he gained throughout his studies in performance improvement has led to such a thriving, enjoyable career.”

Steensgard will also be the featured Alumni Speaker at Grantham’s annual graduation ceremony in Kansas City on August 3rd. Hundreds of graduates expected to attend from all corners of the United States – a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with online classmates, and Grantham faculty and staff.


About Grantham University
Founded in 1951 by WWII veteran Donald Grantham, Grantham University provides online, higher education for all adult learners, including our nation’s military for whom the university was established. Designated in 2019 as a Purple Heart University, Grantham boasts a diverse student body, approximately half being military-affiliated. For anyone balancing education with a demanding lifestyle, Grantham is the solution with its flexible online learning environment, monthly course starts, 50+ degree and certificate programs, and one of the lowest tuitions in the country. Accredited since 1961 by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, Grantham’s education offerings evolve with marketplace demands, with a growing number of programmatic accreditations from nationally recognized accrediting bodies.

About the Distance Education Accreditation Commission
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a private, non-profit organization that operates as a national accreditor of institutions that primarily offer distance education. Founded in 1926, the DEAC holds recognition by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation by DEAC covers all distance education activities within an institution and it provides a single source of nationally recognized accreditation from the primary school level through professional doctoral degree-granting institutions.

About The Author

Liz Istas has been Grantham’s communication manager for over seven years, and loves being part of the Grantham family of staff and students. Liz holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kansas State University.