Harding University names president

Bruce McLarty

SEARCY, Ark (BNc) — Vice President of Spiritual Life Bruce McLarty has been named as the fifth Harding University president.

The announcement was made on Twitter and Facebook.

“I enthusiastically embrace the mission of Harding University,” McLarty said at the press conference in Cone Chapel at 1:30 p.m., CST.

He will replace David B. Burks when Burks retires from the position in June.

McLarty, 55, is also dean of the College of Bible and Religion at Harding. He graduated from Harding University with a B.A. in Bible and from Harding University Graduate School of Religion with the M.Th. degree, according to the Resource Publications website.

McLarty wrote the commentary on Philemon in the Truth for Today series.

He was awarded the D.Min. from Ashland Theology Seminary.

In 1999, he was named Harding’s Outstanding Alumnus in Bible. He has preached for churches in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. For two years, he and his family were missionaries in Meru, Kenya. From 1991 to 2005, he served as pulpit minister for the College church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas.

He and his wife, Ann, have two daughters, Charity and Jessica.

The announcement of McLarty’s selection was made today by Dr. John O. Simmons, chairman of the school’s board of trustees. Simmons also served as chairman of the six-member Presidential Succession Process Committee, which created and executed the plan allowing the entire board to review all applications from candidates for the position.

The decision came Oct. 26-27 during the board’s regular semi-annual meeting.

Harding University was established in 1924 on the idea of integrating faith, learning and living, according to the Facebook page.

Harding is the largest private university in Arkansas and is recognized by U.S. News and Princeton Review as one of the top colleges in the South, the Twitter account said.