MMC President Awarded Contract Extension After One Year in Office
July 30, 2018
The Martin Methodist College (MMC) Board of Trustees announced today its unanimous vote to extend President Mark La Branche’s contract five more years. The announcement comes after the board’s recent quarterly meeting held at Brentwood United Methodist Church.
“Dr. La Branche has brought new vigor and determination to the college,” said Board Chairman Byron Trauger. “At a time of uncertainty in higher education, Dr. La Branche has impressively advanced Martin Methodist’s mission to serve its rural community by being a model of faith-based higher education. The board responded by offering a substantial extension to his contract.”
La Branche began his presidential duties in July 2017 on the horizon of the College’s Sesquicentennial in 2020. He immediately rolled out a bold new vision for MMC that is rooted in its rich history and tradition. This vision celebrates the unique assets and the significant potential of rural southern middle Tennessee with its people, community, values, and the abundant beauty of its natural resources.
La Branche recognized and capitalized on recent trends in private higher education, renewing the strength of the College. Applications are up 13% over the past year. Gifts to the College during the 17-18 fiscal year will total over 4.5 million dollars, the highest annual total in the history of MMC. Fall registration of returning students indicates the number of students who are persisting and succeeding is improving, and this summer, the College will complete 1.3 million dollars in campus improvements fully funded by donations.
“Mona and I are delighted to confirm our commitment to the College for five more years. We love the Martin Methodist College community, its mission, and the communities that it serves,” said La Branche. “We are very excited about our future work together and appreciate the confidence of the Board of Trustees in extending this opportunity.”
As for future work, La Branche provided leadership in the creation of a consortium of rural college presidents across the nation. The first Rural Institute will be held at Dakota Wesleyan College in September.
As leaders of rural colleges, we must embrace the unique challenges and opportunities of our rural place,” La Branche said. “In gathering together at the Rural Institute, we are forming a powerful partnership and think-tank to develop solutions that will create an environment where rural institutions and their surrounding communities can thrive.”