At a dinner on April 23, Mary Hughes-Gaudreau received the distinguished alumna award from the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University. The event was part of OCU’s All Alumni Weekend celebration.
Rev. Hughes-Gaudreau, B.A., Class of ’81, serves as director of emotional and spiritual care for the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, an interfaith group. She is responsible for OCC’s disaster, spiritual, and emotional care ministries.
She facilitates OCC’s training and credentialing of the spiritual care responders who are actively engaged in addressing the long-term spiritual and emotional needs of people affected by Oklahoma’s 2013 spring storms.
Hughes-Gaudreau, a native of Oklahoma, is an ordained United Methodist deacon and licensed professional counselor. She first entered disaster response work following the 1995 Oklahoma City Murrah Building bombing.
Since then, she has provided direct training, response, and consultation in more than 20 states after disasters.
Hughes-Gaudreau served as a national consultant for UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief), 2005-2013, and was the designer of UMCOR’s national spiritual and emotional "Care Team" program.
For the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, she is past chairperson of the Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee. She helped facilitate the development and ratification of the National VOAD Spiritual Care "Points of Consensus" and currently chairs the National VOAD Disaster Spiritual Care Guidelines writing group. She also served on the writing team for "Light Our Way: A Guide for Spiritual Care in Times of Disaster," a resource for volunteers, first responders, and disaster response planners.
Sharon Betsworth, director of OCU’s Wimberly School of Religion, praised the honoree. "Rev. Mary Hughes-Gaudreau exemplifies the kind of servant leader that we seek to develop at Oklahoma City University. She serves all people, meeting them in the place of their deepest need. Her ministry and leadership are crucial in our community and country today."
Honored by other schools within the university that evening were broadcast journalist Lola Hall Gadd, B.A. ’51; Justin Briggs, M.B.A., ’10, vice president of business development and operations at Accele BioPharma; Jody Arbuckle-Ulich, B.S. ’81, director of the Convention and Cultural Services Department for the City of Sacramento; musical conductor Don Jaeger, B.A. ’58, of the Interlochen Arts Academy; Nathan Peck, B.P.A. ’97, stage and screen actor; and registered nurse Wendy Beson, B.S. ’98, the clinical nurse educator at the Muscular Dystrophy Association/ALS Neuromuscular Center at Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
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