Trustee Mary Rucker runs for her alma mater

Posted on December 17, 2014

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Alumna and trustee Mary Rucker

Trustee Mary Rucker of Lake Placid, Fla., is preparing for the Naples Daily News Half Marathon, set for Jan. 18, and she is seeking sponsors to support Erskine.

A 1969 Erskine College graduate, she began thinking about using her running hobby to assist her alma mater when she joined the Board of Trustees in August 2014.

For Rucker, this race is “more than just a distance.”

“It needs to have an impact on more than me,” she said. She hopes to make an impact on the Erskine community as she succeeds in gathering contributors.

Growing up in the ARP Church, Rucker knew that if she went to college it would be at Erskine. Her brothers attended the University of Florida, but she wanted a college where she could excel and not get lost in the crowd.

Mary Rucker '69

Mary Rucker as an Erskine senior

Two of her toughest classes at Erskine, where she studied psychology and elementary education, were Dr. Bill Kuykendall’s Old Testament and New Testament courses. She recalls Kuykendall’s high expectations.

“He pushed us and we worked hard under that kind of pressure,” she said.

After commencement, Rucker returned home to Florida, where she began teaching at elementary schools in Highlands County. She taught at the middle school level and in gifted education as well. She especially enjoyed her time as a seventh grade teacher.

In 2003 Rucker retired from teaching and began working in Biblical counseling at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Placid, Fla.

Serving on the Erskine Board of Trustees is “a privilege and an honor,” she said, and she views it as a calling. She has seen a focus on teamwork among Board members and believes this will help Erskine.

Mary Rucker hopes to see alumni and friends come together in giving, praying, and working for Erskine.

“It’s time to move forward for Erskine, putting the past behind us and forgiving for the glory of God and the good of Erskine.”

If you would like to support Mary Rucker’s half marathon for Erskine, you can contribute to the Erskine Annual Fund online or by sending a check to P.O. Box 338, Due West, SC 29639. Gifts may be made through the end of January.