Martin Methodist names new president

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

PULASKI, Tenn.­—Martin Methodist College announced Thursday that Mark LaBranche has been named the 32nd president in the institution’s 147-year history.

LaBranche has served as the president of Louisburg College in North Carolina since 2009. He announced to Louisburg faculty today that he will be taking the helm at Martin Methodist beginning July 1, although he is anticipated to be on campus in June.

“Mark LaBranche is a successful education leader who insists on academic excellence, has a knack for fundraising and is buoyed by his strong faith. We are very fortunate to have him,” said Nashville attorney Byron Trauger, MMC’s board chairman.

During his eight-year tenure at Louisburg College, LaBranche oversaw the United Methodist-affiliated school’s 22 percent increase in enrollment, a 58 percent increase in graduates, and a five-year, $18 million fundraising campaign that exceeded its goals by 20 percent. He also helped steer the college through the end of a turbulent probation period to full, 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation in June 2016.

LaBranche previously served as senior vice president of external affairs at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Boston University School of Theology, his Master of Divinity degree from Emory University, and his Bachelor of Arts degree with major area of study in philosophy from the University of South Alabama.

LaBranche succeeds retiring Martin Methodist president Ted Brown, who led the college for 19 years in an unprecedented era of growth, development and stability.

LaBranche is married to Mona, his wife of more than 35 years who is a nurse and midwife. Their son, Robert, works with NASA in Huntsville, Ala.; their daughter, Emily, works for the Methodist Publishing House in Nashville and lives in Franklin, Tenn.

Martin Methodist College, founded in 1870, is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Martin Methodist offers baccalaureate degrees in 39 programs of study that include English, religious studies, music and dramatic arts, mathematics and natural sciences, business, social sciences, education, criminal justice, and nursing.