MMC President Awarded Contract Extension After One Year in Office

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July 30, 2018

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – 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

“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 the 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

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.”

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 to
business, social sciences, education, criminal justice, and nursing.

Martin Methodist College
Sissy Garner
Director of Marketing and Communications
(931) 363-9815/fax (931) 363-9867