At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, Harding University welcomed Jana Rucker as the new Vice President of the Office of University Communications and Marketing. Rucker transferred to Harding from SatCom Direct, where she served as senior director of global brand and marketing.
Rucker said she is excited to join Harding’s team and knows there is a great deal of branding groundwork to expand upon and polish. Her first major change in office was to refine the name of the office from Department of Public Relations to Department of Communications and Marketing in order to better display its primary functions. Rucker said she wants to push the unification of Harding’s brand.
“Everyone at Harding is responsible for marketing,” Rucker said. “Every department has something different to offer, but they can overlap.”
Rucker described the office as image-conscious as it presents Harding to the public. David Crouch, former director of public relations, said Rucker will bring unique skills to Harding.
“(President Bruce) McLarty was looking for an individual who had the communication skills and marketing background to serve as a vice president on his cabinet team,” Crouch said. “Under her leadership, I think the future is very bright for the area she leads.”
McLarty said that the new office presents potential for brand promoting. He also commended Rucker for her love for kingdom work and the Harding mission.
“Harding has an incredible story,” McLarty said. “I believe Rucker is going to be a great leader in helping us to move into that area in ways we have never done before.”
Rucker said doing work for the kingdom as a career is a dream come true. She said she keeps a plaque engraved with Ephesians 3:20 in her office, a verse which defines glory in work as hard work and the ability to surpass basic requirements. Rucker said she believes in going beyond her duties to make Harding University a better place.