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Good News from SNU Church Relations


Celebrating a Musical Legacy - Dr. Mark Reighard Announces His Retirement

Without question, one of the most recognized Dr. Mark Reighardand iconic personalities associated with Southern Nazarene University is Mark Reighard, who has served the university in the classroom and as ambassador of good will across the South Central Region – and beyond – since 1969. Combining remarkable talent in piano performance, with the gifts of composer and arranger of musical scores, he has left an indelible mark on the School of Music and the hundreds, if not thousands, of students he has mentored and inspired.

Reighard is currently professor of piano, music theory and Fine Arts in the School of Music at SNU. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southern Nazarene University (then Bethany Nazarene College), and he holds the Master of Musical Arts and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Oklahoma. He has been given the Excellence in Teaching award from the students at SNU five times, and has been honored with the SNU Outstanding Alumni award. In 1999 he was honored as one of 100 distinguished alumni representatives for the centennial celebration of SNU.

As a pianist, he has performed to audiences locally and throughout the country. His piano repertoire includes classical compositions, popular music improvisations and arrangements of contemporary and traditional church music selections. He is probably best known for the hundreds of comedic presentations he has given for numerous church events including services, banquets, pastor & wives retreats, district functions and denominational events. Who can forget the church pianists, the camp-meeting singer, the microwave piano, Godzilla, Elvis and the late night phone call to General Superintendent X?

When not teaching or performing, Dr. Reighard enjoys relaxed travel, exercise and cycling (road bike). His wife Audrey, a retired elementary school teacher, is a homemaker. They have one son, Christopher, who is a graduate of SNU. Chris and his wife, Ashley (Gill), live in Edmond, Oklahoma and are the parents of Mark and Audrey’s adorable granddaughter, Claire.

True to Mark Reighard’s sense of humor, his retirement plans include cruising in the Persian Gulf and serving as Chaplain for the “Thunder Girls” of the local NBA team. Regardless of his ‘real’ plans for the future, there’s no doubt his talent, personality, style and daily presence will be missed on the campus of SNU!

Theology Professors Set to Retire

Long-time Educators Leave Lasting Influence

With over 80 years combined service to Nazarene higher education, two stalwarts of ministry are bidding farewell to SNU. Dr. Hal Cauthron, Professor and Chair of the School of Theology and Ministry at SNU, and Dr. Don Dunnington, former SNU Vice President for Academic Affairs and currently Professor in the School of Theology and Ministry, have announced their retirements at the close of the current academic year. Their service to the Church of the Nazarene has impacted multiple Nazarene educational institutions and thousands of students preparing for ministry. Their influence on our denomination is reflected in the lives of those who sat under their teaching and now serve in ministry roles around the globe.

Dr Hal CauthronDr. Hal Cauthron received the BA degree in Religion from BNC/SNU in 1967. Now, fifty years later he is retiring as a faculty member and Chair of the School of Theology & Ministry at SNU. He received the MA degree in Religion from BNC in 1969, and later completed the M.Div. degree at Nazarene Seminary and the PhD degree (in New Testament) at Vanderbilt University. In January of 1995 he began teaching at SNU, serving 22 ½ years in the same department. His teaching ministry included service at 3 other Nazarene institutions – Trevecca in Tennessee and two theological colleges, one in Swaziland and the other in South Africa. The combined total years of ministry in those places is another 22 ½ years.

Of God’s call and his preparation for Christian higher education, Cauthron said, “I have been given the highest of privileges that I could ever imagine in serving my alma mater in the role of teacher of New Testament. My sense of gratitude arises out of the profound, life-changing influence of the New Testament teacher under whom I studied at BNC. That teacher was Professor Richard Howard. He was the Spirit’s instrument in making the New Testament writings become so very powerful to me.” Cauthron’s impact on students over the years has been immeasurable, but he expressed the return on his investment in them by saying, “My heart is full when I see or hear of former students fulfilling God’s call to ministry as pastors, evangelists, teachers, and church leaders.”

When asked about future plans, Dr. Cauthron said, “Retiring from full time work in ministry does not mean retiring from God’s call to minister. I am already finding opportunities of continuing the ministry of God’s word.” Beyond some much-anticipated travel with his wife, Nancy, and spending time with their two children and their families, Cauthron hopes to work on writing projects and be available for some teaching and preaching as God leads. “We are just looking forward to things which we cannot necessarily imagine at this point,” he said.

Dr. Don W. Dunnington has served SNU for 26 years. Dr Don DunningtonDon came to SNU in 1991 and served for 15 years as Vice-President for Academic Affairs/Academic Dean before returning to his love for students and teaching in the School of Theology and Ministry for the last 11 years.

Prior to his years at SNU, Don was Chaplain and Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee from 1980-1991. Early in his career he served the Church of the Nazarene full-time as an evangelist and pastor for 7 years. His areas of teaching have included Preaching/Homiletics, Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Counseling, Worship, Spiritual Formation, Christian Life, New Testament, and Introductory courses in Christian Theology.

Throughout his work at TNU and SNU Don has been active in preaching and teaching ministries of the Church of the Nazarene. In addition to regularly teaching a Sunday School class at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene for many years, he recently developed and led an elective seminar at BFC on "Christian Life in the Wesleyan Tradition."

When asked to reflect on his career in ministry preparation, he said, "I am grateful for the privilege the church has given me to serve in Christian higher education and for the great partnership that exists between our church and Southern Nazarene University. I look forward to serving Christ and the church in whatever opportunities that might develop in the days ahead!"

Don and his wife, Jane, who retired in 2014 after 16 years as a valued member of the SNU staff, will continue to live in Oklahoma City--when they are not traveling. They have three sons who are all SNU grads and 7 grandchildren living nearby who fill their lives with joy.

From Generation to Generation

A Legacy of Sharing Good News

When a new professor of Religion arrived at McGradys in ArizonaBethany Nazarene College in 1962, no one could have predicted the decades of spiritual influence his larger-than-life shadow would cast on future generations. Rev. Paul McGrady, Sr. was a powerful preacher of the Gospel and a beloved professor. His life and ministry were tragically cut short in a car accident in 1967 while traveling with the college quartet, but his legacy lives on through the impact of the lives of his family.

In response to this life-changing event, Jean McGrady, now a young widow with two small children, trusted God to provide for them, and through her hard work and dedication, became a strong influence in her church, her community and her family. Now, fast-forward to 1986 when BNC alum Paul McGrady, Jr. joined the Southern Nazarene University coaching staff and, with the same commitment and hard work that he learned from his parents, has served in a number of roles in SNU Athletics. In 1994, Coach McGrady launched the men’s and women’s cross country programs. Then, in 1999, McGrady was chosen by the Administration to recruit and facilitate the launch of the football program at SNU. He served as head football coach until 2005 with great success. Paul, Jr. continues to serve SNU today as an Associate Director of Athletics.

Following in his father’s footsteps as a SNU student-athlete, Garrett McGrady is making his mark and changing the record books with his accomplishments in shot put and other track and field events. A senior Business major, Garrett is dedicated to his sport, but his passion, like his father and grandfather, is helping people come to know Jesus.

In 2008, Coach McGrady began taking students on spring break mission trips to the Sun Valley Indian School and Navajo reservation. Garrett has taken part in more than a dozen trips to serve the Native American people in the Gallup area. Partnering with Pastor Chris Davis and the Gallup Church of the Nazarene, as well as supporting the work of the Southwest Native American District, they offer practical help like firewood to heat homes and churches, meals for the homeless and hope for those who struggle with addictions. The initiative is still active and involves current students at SNU, but since 2012 it has been a ministry of Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, where it finds strong support.

Paul Jr. said, “While my vocation has been very different from my father’s, our passion and commitment to see people find hope and healing through Christ is the same. I want to follow in my dad’s footsteps and be the soul winner that he was called to be.” One of the ways the work is funded is through the McGrady Foundation, created by the late Jean McGrady and now advanced by Paul Jr. and his sister, Miriam Bassinger, also a graduate of SNU. Jean also established the Paul McGrady, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund at SNU to support men and women preparing for pastoral ministry.

There is no doubt the passion of the mission is being passed on to the next generation. Paul’s son, Garrett, expressed it this way, “it’s definitely eye-opening, to see how our Native American people live in such heartbreaking conditions. They need love and compassion, but they also need to see the unity of Christians coming together to show a way to a better life. Thank God for raising up people like Pastor Chris to minister to the people of Gallup.”

To learn more about the McGrady Foundation visit The McGrady Foundation. To donate to the Paul McGrady, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit

Our Nazarene Heritage
Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university - a service of the Church of the Nazarene. Located on a 40-acre campus just west of Oklahoma City, SNU grew out of several small colleges committed to educating people for lives of service to God, leadership, and reconciliation toward their neighbors and within the global community. More than 32,000 alumni work and serve throughout the United States and the world. Read About Our Heritage

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