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Press Release for Thursday, April 18, 2019

UNF Names Eric Bruder New Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

Eric Bruder has accepted the University of North Florida’s offer to become the University’s new vice president for Marketing and Communications. He will begin the position Monday, June 17.

Bruder will be responsible for creating strategies and tactics to build brand awareness and increase UNF’s positive image among key stakeholders. This position will serve on the president’s leadership team, managing issues to protect the University’s public reputation, serves as spokesperson for UNF and as a member of the Crisis Management Team as the chief public information officer.

“Eric has a strong history of success in both higher education and corporate marketing and communications,” said UNF President David Szymanski. “He led strategic communications, marketing and branding at one of our country’s great public universities and has worked in multiple marketing roles at Fortune 500 companies. His extensive experience will serve our University well as we continue to raise UNF’s profile. We’re excited to welcome Eric to our team.”

The vice president will oversee the University’s public relations and marketing staff, accountable for both internal and external communications.

“It’s my honor to join the wonderful, passionate and committed University of North Florida community as the vice president for Marketing and Communications,” said Bruder. “UNF is an exceptional academic and research institution with a great deal of momentum. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the University to communicate the compelling UNF story and continue building its strong reputation.”

In 2013, Bruder was appointed as the first chief marketing officer at Indiana University, where he led a team of more than 70 marketing and communications professionals with responsibility across two flagship campuses, five regional campuses and Indiana University online.

He also brought together leadership from 25 schools, seven campuses and over 200 marketers and communicators across the institution to develop, quantify and execute compelling, differentiated and enduring brand strategy for the university.

While Bruder led marketing and communications efforts at IU, university applications rose more than 20% and freshman enrollment increased 6%. He partnered with the IU Foundation to exceed the 2020 Bicentennial Campaign goal of $2.5 billion, the largest campaign goal in the history of the university.

Prior to Indiana University, he was the vice president and general manager of Global Innovation at The Hershey Company, where he led strategic business units to develop and implement the company’s long-term category adjacency strategy, identifying over $1 billion in global growth opportunities across multiple categories.

Bruder also worked as a brand director for Kraft - Nabisco Foods Company and for Unilever as a marketing director for key brands including Rago, Bertolli, Wish-Bone Salad Dressing and Lipton/Knorr.

He earned his MBA in marketing from Columbia Business School and his Master of Arts in international affairs from American University. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.

Bruder replaces Sharon Ashton, who retired from the University earlier this month.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.