Sumerford named ICC’s Alumnus of Year

COURTESY PHOTOItawamba Community College president Mike Eaton presents Smithville resident Marilyn Sumerford with a plaque signifying her as the college's Alumnus of the Year.

SMITHVILLE — Access Family Health Services Executive Director Marilyn Sumerford was chosen as the Itawamba Community College’s 2013 Alumnus of the Year.

She was honored during homecoming activities on Sept. 28.

Sumerford is a graduate of ICC and was appointed to its board of trustees in 1988 and in 1989, she became the college’s first female board chair.

She earned both her bachelor's and master’s degrees from Mississippi University for Women.

For the past 34 years, she has worked in the healthcare field and since 1995, she has served as executive director of Access Family Health Services. Prior to that position, she was employed by Gilmore Memorial Hospital as Director of Dietary Services and Chief Clinical Dietitian. She also worked as a nursing home consultant with Southern Health Enterprises at Red Bay [Ala.] Nursing Home.

Sumerford has held various leadership roles in healthcare organizations and served on numerous community boards.

“My mother and father didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. My dad stressed the importance of an education and there was never any choice from him other than ICC,” said Sumerford. “The first two years are so important and at ICC, you get that personal attention that you don’t get at larger schools.”

Sumerford said without that foundation and individual support, she couldn’t have succeeded.

“Coming from a small school, ICC gave me the confidence that I could compete as well as others. ICC is one of the top schools in the nation," Sumerford said.

For 35 years, she has been married to Kenny Sumerford. They are the parents of Ben, a family nurse practitioner in Tupelo; Will, a chemical engineer; and Bethany, a registered nurse currently in the family nurse practitioner master's program at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, all of whom graduated from ICC.

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