Dr. Steven J. LaGrow

Class of 1968
Career Pathway: Health Sciences

Steven J. LaGrowSteven LaGrow earned three varsity letters in football, three in track, one in basketball and one in skiing while attending GHS. He was president of the Varsity Club his senior year and recipient of the Michael Goodrich Award for football in 1968.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1972 and was awarded the National Defense ribbon, the Vietnam service medal and a combat action medal.

He attended Western Michigan University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in sociology and political science in 1975. He earned a master of arts degree as a blind rehabilitation, orientation and mobility specialist in 1976 from WMU. He then earned a doctor of education degree in special education-visual impairment from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

Dr. LaGrow is the first holder of the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind centennial chair, established at Massey University in 1991 by the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind. In 1992, he received an award of achievement for the establishment of the first university program to prepare mobility specialists outside the United States. He was the outstanding alumnus for 2003-2004 in the Department of Blindness and Low Vision at WMU and was inducted into the Academy of Blindness and Low Vision Studies in October 2003 in Kalamazoo.

Dr. LaGrow has taught in the field of blind rehabilitation since 1978 at Northern Illinois University and Western Michigan University. He is currently a professor of rehabilitation and head of the School of Health Sciences at Massey University in New Zealand, a position he has held since 1988. He has published over 100 papers and two books and presented hundreds of times at national and international conferences.

Dr. LaGrow is married to Susan Hart and has four children -- Adrien (21), Alec (18), Joseph (12) and Hannah (9). His hobbies include skiing and fly fishing. He is an active member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Palmerston North.