Dr. L. Paul Gresham, father of SNU President Loren Gresham Passes

     (BETHANY, OKLA.) – Dr. L. Paul Gresham passed away early Sunday morning, July 5, 2009.  Dr. Paul Gresham was a familiar presence on the Southern Nazarene University (SNU) campus for many years and father of SNU President Loren Gresham.


L. Paul Gresham was born in Portales, New Mexico in 1911. He graduated from Bethany-Peniel College in 1933 and proceeded to the University of Oklahoma where he received the Master of Arts in History in 1934. In 1935 he joined the faculty of Bresee College in Hutchinson, Kansas, initiating a career of a half-century in Nazarene higher education. 

In 1936 he married Martha E. Dewitt, another Bresee College faculty member. The Greshams then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he entered Vanderbilt University, receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1943.  The Greshams served for eighteen years as members of the faculty of Trevecca Nazarene College (now University) in Nashville.  Paul served as dean of the College from 1946 to 1954.  While at TNU, two sons, Loren Paul and Daniel Kay were born.  Loren and Daniel both became long-term educators. 

The family spent one year in Hawaii, where Paul served as a member of the faculty and academic dean for Honolulu Christian College (now Hawaii Pacific University). 

From 1955 to 1977, Dr. Gresham served as professor of history at Pasadena College / Point Loma College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) in San Diego.  In the later years, he was the dean of the College.  He retired in 1977, and returned to Bethany. He has been a long-time resident at Southern Plaza Retirement Community.  

Paul L. Gresham was an author and editor of several published works, including Waves Against Gibraltar: A Memoir of Dr. A. M. Hills and From Many Came One, in Jesus' Name: Southern Nazarene University Looks Back on a Century.   

The service for Dr. L. Paul Gresham, will be Friday, July 10, at 11:00 AM at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, 6789 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK.  

There is no scheduled visitation.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Daniel K. Gresham English Scholarship fund at Southern Nazarene University. 

Dr. Paul’s sweet spirit and warm smile will be missed.  Please join the SNU community in prayer for the Gresham family.