71 Years Strong: Milestones of UA Grantham Growth and Success

By Brandon Swenson February 2, 2022

A Legacy of Changing Education for the Better

Recently Grantham University took a big step toward a brighter future, both for our students and for our institution—we joined the University of Arkansas System. As University of Arkansas Grantham (UA Grantham), we are better positioned than ever before to build on our legacy of academic excellence and achieve our mission of providing high-quality programs.

2022 also marked the 71st anniversary of our founding—making this moment the perfect opportunity to highlight and celebrate the educational milestones that have helped us reach this point today.

Founded to Make a Difference

With the advent of the G.I. Bill®, World War II veteran Donald Grantham saw a way to help fellow servicemen better find a place in post-war American society. He founded the Grantham Radio License School in Los Angeles, California, to help them develop in-demand skills for a growing, thriving market.

Soon, to make an even greater impact for positive change, Grantham would change the name to Grantham School of Electronics and open campus locations and labs across the country in Seattle, Washington, Kansas City, Missouri, Washington, D.C., Falls Church, Virginia, and Dania, Florida.

Recognized, Accredited, Transformed

In 1961, the School gained accreditation status from the Distance Education and Training Council (now the Distance Education Accrediting Commission or DEAC)—an accreditation the University has maintained and still holds to this day.

As time passed and the need for more diverse educational needs became apparent, the School went through another name change—Grantham College of Engineering—and consolidating into one Los Angeles location in 1968. Three years later, this engineering college would move once more to Falls Church and begin offering associate degree programs. Five years later, residential operations would close and the College would concentrate on a distance education format. One year later, in 1977, it would begin offering an accredited Bachelor of Science in Electronics.

More Programs, More Progress

In the 80s, Grantham College of Electronics would continue to grow its offerings, including the Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology. In the 90s, the College moved operations to Louisiana and expanded programmatic offerings to include a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. As the millennia rolled in, so too did a number of offerings and opportunities, including the creation of a military scholarship program in 2001.

Just one year later, Grantham University became the new name as it launched a Business School to go along with the College of Engineering. Two years later, the College of Arts and Sciences would come into being. During this time, the University would expand online degree program options with more undergraduate and now graduate degree programs.


In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the University’s Louisiana campus, accelerating the opening—and eventual move—of offices to Kansas City, Missouri. Seemingly overnight, University employees would begin meeting the needs of thousands of online students from a new location, implementing new infrastructure and overcoming academic and transitional challenges even as they continued to come to terms with the extraordinary weather event.

This time would serve to define the resilience, character and passion of an educational force for good, a force that embodies the true spirit of our founder when Donald Grantham took on a mission to serve his fellow veterans.

Post-Katrina Moves to a Brighter Future

Over the better part of the next two decades, Grantham University would move operations from Kansas City, Missouri to an area suburb, Lenexa, Kansas. It would begin enrolling Title IV students and expanding opportunities for students outside of the military, serving the underserved first generation of college-bound students who never thought they would have post-secondary educational opportunity. It would begin a new college, this time in nursing and health professions. It would work with government agencies and local community organizations to offer even more programs and opportunities for education and better living.

It would also be recognized for those efforts with more than 100 awards and honors by nationally known organizations—from top rankings as a veteran-friendly school by U.S. Veterans Magazine and Best for Vets by Military Times to a top 10 listing on Ingram’s 2019 Top Private Colleges and Universities. Grantham University has also been recognized as a Military Friendly School for 12 consecutive years.

UA Grantham Today

The past few years have been tumultuous, especially in higher education, but UA Grantham remains committed to serving those who serve and those who strive to make a difference in their communities. The last 71 years have provided a strong foundation for the resiliency needed to support our students now and in the future as they strive for more.

Are you ready to learn more about how a UA Grantham education could transform your life? We’d love to talk to you about how we can serve you and your goals. Get in touch with us today!

About the Author

Brandon Swenson
Brandon Swenson, communications manager, is on University of Arkansas Grantham’s editorial board. A veteran and college graduate himself, he understands the benefits and intricacies of government education programs, such as veteran education benefits. Brandon earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City toward the end of his nearly two-decade tour in the United States Marine Corps.
« Previous PostGoing Back to School: Becoming a Student Again after a Break
Next Post »Grantham Grads Career Spans Radio, TV to Teaching Titanic Director James Cameron

Explore our Programs

By submitting this form, I agree that University of Arkansas Grantham may email, call and/or text me about education programs at the number provided including a wireless number, possibly utilizing automated dialing technology. Message and data rates may apply. Providing this consent is not required in order to enroll. If I live outside the U.S., I am giving consent to transfer my data to the U.S. I also agree to the terms in our privacy policy.