In Memoriam: Cynthia R. Dougherty
NBA | May 01, 2019
The National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) shares our sincere condolences and prayers of peace with the family of Cynthia R. Dougherty, as we commemorate and honor her life. Known by many as Cindy, she died on April 29, 2019, after suffering from brain cancer.
Cindy was elected as the President of NBA and began her tenure of leadership in July 1996. Dougherty previously served at Chapman University, as Vice President of Enrollment and Student Life, Vice Provost, and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, and at Phillips University as Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. Dougherty earned degrees from Phillips University and the University of Oklahoma.
During her tenure with the NBA, Dougherty oversaw the expansion of multi-tiered health and social service facilities, including home healthcare, independent and low-income living communities for older adults, and people with disabilities. She also helped support the creation of several meaningful programs and initiatives supporting Disciples, including Miracle Days, a joint mission venture between the NBA and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in local cities and across Disciples regions. Dougherty initiated educational grants for young adult Disciples through the NBA Leadership Scholars Program, and intentional partnerships with the communities and ministries of Disciples racial/ethnic ministries including National Convocation, Obra Hispana, and North American Pacific Asian Disciples (NAPAD). In 2004 and 2005, Dougherty worked with the NBA board and staff leadership during the organization’s bankruptcy proceedings.
“The NBA that Cindy helped to lead and strengthen had a positive impact on the lives of children, families, seniors, and people with disabilities, in many ways. Although the NBA bankruptcy painfully effected many in our denomination, today we seek to honor Cindy’s life and her passionate commitments to health and social services, leadership development and education,” reflects Mark D. Anderson, NBA President and CEO. “We offer our prayers of comfort to her family and friends in this time of loss.”
At the time of her death at the age of 64, Cindy was serving as Dean of Students at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. She is survived by her loving family, including daughter, Casey, son, Tyler, five grandchildren, and her spouse, Chuck.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages any gifts to be made to the Dean Cindy Dougherty Memorial Fund at the Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) Foundation, Inc.*
*Additional details: All gifts can be sent to:
SWOSU Foundation, 100 Campus Drive, Weatherford, OK 73096
Attention: Dean Cindy Dougherty Memorial Fund
As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve "the least of these."