La Branche to leave Louisburg College

Louisburg College President Mark La Branche, who has led the school for eight years, is leaving to become president of Martin Methodist College in Tennessee.

La Branche has won praise for rejuvenating Louisburg, a private, two-year college that had faced serious questions about its survival. Mike Boddie, chairman of the college’s trustee board, called La Branche’s leadership “transformational.”

The new job will take La Branche to a private, four-year college in Pulaski, TN. Martin Methodist offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

When La Branche arrived in Louisburg in 2009, the college was on probation with its accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The campus was in poor physical condition and the college had severe financial problems.

During La Branche’s tenure, enrollment grew and the college raised nearly $19 million. It spent $9 million fixing buildings and making improvements. Last year, the college’s accreditation was affirmed through 2026.

La Branche was also active in the community and the revitalization of downtown Louisburg. He was frequently seen jogging with students on campus.

Boddie said the board would name a committee to conduct a search for Louisburg’s next president.

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559, @janestancill