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Harding University Names Bruce McLarty President

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Bruce McLarty, 55, vice president for spiritual life at Harding University in Searcy, has been named to succeed Harding University President David B. Burks when Burks retires from the position in June.

John O. Simmons, chairman of Harding’s board of trustees, made the announcement on Thursday. 

According to the university, the board met in its regular semi-annual meetings on Oct. 26-27 and voted to name McLarty to the post.

The decision comes one year after Burks said he would retire from the presidency at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Burks will become chancellor of the University in June.

Harding said its presidential search committee worked nine months accepting and reviewing applications for the post.

“Dr. McLarty is a leader, not in the mold of a typical CEO or academician, but he is a servant leader with a very bright mind, a keen insight into people and the ability to communicate effectively,” Simmons said. “He brings energy and a clear vision of the mission of Harding to the table, and he will be an effective leader as our fifth president.”

McLarty received his bachelor’s degree in Bible from then Harding College in 1978. In 1982, he received a master of theology degree from Harding School of Theology in Memphis. In 2010 he was awarded the Doctor of Ministry degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in AshlandOhio.

McLarty joined Harding’s administration in 2005, as both vice president for spiritual life and dean of the College of Bible and Ministry. He served in the dual positions until 2008, after which he retained the vice presidential role.

McLarty is editor of the “Abundant Living” magazine published by Harding. He is the author of two books and more than two-dozen other articles for publications. 

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