Posted: July 23, 2009

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Steve Frantz, system director for student affairs at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, has been awarded the Commander’s Award for Public Service for “exceptional civilian service and support to veterans” by Minnesota Army National Guard Adjutant General Larry Shellito.

In presenting the award at the Board of Trustees meeting, Shellito said that Frantz “continually develops and supports initiatives such as military education programs, career and education planning resources, and surveys of student veterans in order to provide an array of resources to our veterans.”

Since 2005, Frantz has been instrumental in establishing veterans’ centers on 45 of the system’s 54 campuses and in coordinating the system’s participation in dozens of reintegration events for returning soldiers. He helped develop higher education aspects of the innovative “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon,” a model program to ease the transition of soldiers back to civilian life that has been at the national level. His supervision and guidance led to developing an Internet-based tool, the Veterans Education Transfer System, and the GPS LifePlan, a career and education planning resource. Frantz serves as the system’s liaison with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and the Minnesota National Guard.

Chancellor James H. McCormick said, “This is a well-deserved honor. Dr. Frantz has poured his heart and energy into honoring the service of veterans by making sure they are welcome on our campuses and receive the high-quality programs and services they need and deserve.”

After receiving the award, Frantz said, “I am honored by this award, but I want you to know that I feel privileged to have been able to do this work. Every time I shake a soldier’s hand at a reintegration event, I am deeply moved by the service and commitment of these men and women to our country.”

Each year, about 60 percent of the Minnesota veterans who received education benefits attend one of the 32 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.