Loren P. Gresham earned the Bachelor of Arts degree at Pasadena College, (now Point Loma Nazarene University) in 1962. He continued studies at the University of Southern California earning the Master of Arts degree in international relations. In 1964, he married Linda Brown, a former classmate at Pasadena College and daughter of Dr. W. Shelburne Brown, president of the College.
In 1967, Loren, Linda and daughter Suzanne moved to Bethany, Oklahoma, where Gresham became professor of political science at Bethany Nazarene College. He resumed graduate studies in that discipline at the University of Oklahoma, completing the Ph.D. degree in 1973.
Dr. Gresham pursued his lifelong interest in the sport of basketball. He became assistant coach and later head coach of the Bethany Nazarene College (BNC) men’s intercollegiate team, which achieved remarkable
success, including a national championship in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1981.
In 1985, Dr. Gresham became provost of Bethany Nazarene College. In 1989, the Board of Trustees elected Gresham president of the institution, now called Southern Nazarene University. This makes him not only the longest tenured president among the eight Nazarene institutions of higher education in North America but also the longest tenured President currently serving at any college or university in Oklahoma.
Dr. Gresham’s love for the university and passion for people have been evident over the years at SNU. From professor and coaching basketball to provost and president, Gresham has shared a major part of his life with all who have been a part of the university.
Dr. Gresham has chaired the NAIA Council of Presidents, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He has chaired the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Board of Directors for four years (CCCU is an organization that includes more than 111 Christian colleges and universities across the nation).