Versatile PR Professional Joins MC’s Marketing, Communication Group
While getting acclimated to the Mississippi College environment, the Office of Marketing and Communication’s newest staff member can’t help but laugh every time he hears the same question from almost everyone he meets.
“From Day One, people have asked me, ‘Are you the new Andy?’” said Bruce Coleman, communications specialist. “I think it’s a testament to how well Andy Kanengiser (MC’s former university news coordinator) was thought of by everyone here, and how well he helped tell the University’s story.
“My goal, years down the road, is for MC faculty and staff to ask my successor, ‘Are you the new Bruce?’”
A former sports editor, baseball writer, and disability examiner, Coleman comes to MC from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he fashioned a 23-year career as a “Swiss Army knife” in public relations.
“During my time at UMMC, I was fortunate enough to do just about everything in P.R., from media relations to internal communications to producing electronic and printed publications,” he said. “My career has been buoyed by the many talented people with whom I have been privileged to work - writers, graphic designers, faculty, and administrators.”
After almost 30 years of combined service to the state of Mississippi, the Madison resident had been seeking an opportunity to place his workmanship with an institution more closely aligned with his Christian values. That’s when he came across an opportunity at MC.
“Tracey Harrison and her staff are extremely accomplished, and everybody I’ve met here has been so welcoming,” Coleman said. “It is a true highlight of my working life to be joining the OMC team.”
“Bruce has extensive experience in public relations and communications, ranging from internal communications to media relations and crisis response,” Harrelson said. “We are excited to welcome Bruce to the OMC team. He will be a great asset to the entire MC family.”
A graduate of the University of Mississippi with degrees in journalism and English, Coleman had spent unconventional hours serving as a sports editor at several newspapers when he decided to return home to the Jackson metropolitan area and pursue “a regular 9-to-5 job.” He became a disability examiner specializing in childhood claims for the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services in Madison, but the urge to resume writing kept tugging at him.
He authored a book about one of his many passions – Major League Baseball history – which ultimately led to his joining the Office of Public Affairs at UMMC.
Admittedly, he has a lot to learn about Mississippi College: His chief connection to the University came when he attended his older brother Steven’s MC Law School graduation in A. E. Wood Coliseum several decades ago.
“I’m fascinated by the legacy in higher education Mississippi College has crafted throughout its rich history,” Coleman said. “The University has been a standard-bearer for the cause of Christ in this state, and throughout this region, for several lifetimes.
“It’s a tremendous honor to try to contribute in a small way to helping MC continue that tradition.”
Coleman and his wife, Gayla, senior compliance risk analyst and compliance officer for Trustmark Bank, are members of the Madison Church of Christ. The couple enjoys supporting the Atlanta Braves and Ole Miss Rebels and spending time with their extended family and friends.
The communications specialist said he is especially looking forward to learning about the University’s history and getting to know as many members of the MC Family as he can.
“I’d like to invite everyone at MC to contact me whenever they have any information of interest for the campus or the surrounding community,” he said. “There’s nothing I enjoy more than promoting the good work being done at this University.”
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