WEST LAFAYETTE — Charged to further enhance Purdue University’s reputation as one of the most innovative universities in the world and advance Purdue’s growing portfolio of online educational offerings tailored to address different adult learning needs, Ethan Braden has been promoted to executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Purdue University and Purdue University Global.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels announced the promotion on Wednesday (March 23).
“The progress we perceive in the professionalism, coherence, and overall effectiveness of Purdue’s communications has been validated by an abundance of outside evidence, and Ethan has been central to this progress,” Daniels said. “We now need to achieve a similar improvement in the very different realm in which Purdue Global and Purdue Online operate. It’s a large and critical assignment, but Ethan has shown an ability to handle those, and we’re optimistic about this new set of challenges.”
As executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Purdue University and Purdue University Global, Braden will oversee brand strategy, marketing, market research, digital experience, strategic communications, and media relations across Purdue’s entire portfolio, including its flagship West Lafayette campus, Purdue University Online, and Purdue University Global.
The move further signals Purdue’s commitment to the millions of working adults in the U.S. who have different educational needs by providing access to affordable yet high-quality and relevant online education to upskill and keep pace with rapidly changing workplace needs while balancing school, work, and family. Founded in 2018, Purdue University Global is Purdue’s public, nonprofit, online university with a mission of helping working adults leverage the skills they have and develop the skills they need to achieve their career goals. Among Purdue University Global’s 32,000 students, more than 60% are over the age of 30, a majority are the first in their family to pursue a college education, 42% are underrepresented minorities, and nearly a third are serving or have served in the U.S. military. With more than 4,000 students enrolled, Purdue University Online, part of the flagship West Lafayette campus, provides working professionals and full-time students the opportunity to advance their careers with a Purdue education, whether for one course, a graduate certificate or a degree.
“I am so grateful to the Board of Trustees, President Daniels, my predecessor Dan Hasler and our entire central marketing and communications team for this opportunity to lead at the next and highest level here at Purdue,” Braden said. “For 152 years, Boilermakers have taken small steps and giant leaps in all fields, head down, focused on being and bringing their very best. For the last three years, our team and marketers across the system have worked to cultivate, excite and unite a world-class marketing community, as well as deliberately position, promote and protect the Purdue brand worldwide. Moving forward, with this iconic brand, sought-after residential undergraduate and graduate experiences, and a growing portfolio of online degrees and certificates that students and employers trust, Purdue can become the land-grant university of the 21st century. We are among the most innovative, prestigious and accessible public institutions in the world, providing a proven and valued education for a growing range of students, no matter where they live or where they are today in their educational journey.”
In 2021, Purdue University was named one of Fast Company Magazine’s Brands That Matter, the only university and the only organization from Indiana included in the inaugural list, joining renowned brands including Nike, McDonald’s, Ford, 3M and Yeti. The list honors companies and organizations that give people compelling reasons to care about them, offer inspiration for others to buy in and authentically communicate their mission and ideals, according to Fast Company editors.
In 2020, Braden was named Marketer of the Year for Higher Education by the American Marketing Association, the same year the Purdue Marketing and Communications team was named Marketing Team of the Year for Higher Education by the AMA.
Before Purdue, Ethan worked for more than a decade at Eli Lilly & Company, where he served in a variety of senior marketing and sales leadership roles, managing some of Lilly’s and the pharmaceutical industry’s most successful and life-changing brands. He has been featured in Fast Company magazine, the Washington Post, AdAge, The Hechinger Report and The Morning Brew.
Braden teaches personal branding to student-athletes in Purdue University’s Optimizing Personal Brand and Image class, part of an innovative partnership between Purdue’s School of Management and Purdue Athletics to proactively equip students to navigate new NCAA rules that allow them to profit from their names, images, and likenesses.
Braden is a graduate of Willamette University and has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame.
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