Tullahoma resident named to MMC Hall of Distinction
May 9, 2017
Elmo Birkhead was added to Martin Methodist College’s (MMC), illustrious Hall of Distinction on May 5, 2017, for her dedicated service to MMC, to her church, and to her community.
The Martin Methodist College Hall of Distinction was established by the alumni group in 1980. An inductee to the Hall of Distinction must be an alumnus/alumna or friend who has made a significant contribution to Martin Methodist College through employment, service, or donation. An inductee can also be an alumnus/alumna who has brought significant honor to the college by substantial personal achievement in profession, avocation, or community service.
In her professional life, Birkhead worked as a counselor for the state of Ky., served as Dean of Women at Kentucky Wesleyan College and finally was a counselor for the Department of Mental Health in Tullahoma. She retired to Florida in 1990 but moved back to Tullahoma in 1995 and came out of retirement to serve as Program Director/Facilitator at First United Methodist Church (FUMC) Tullahoma at the encouragement of former MMC President Bill Starnes. Birkhead has worked in that full-time position on a volunteer basis since then.
Serving as pastor of FUMC Tullahoma at that time, Starnes and his wife Rosemary because close friends with Birkhead and shared their love of MMC. Over time, Birkhead grew to love the college as well and responded to that love in a self-less, giving way. Her desire to leave a legacy for years to come has impacted students past and present, and she has become an influential ambassador at her church, FUMC Tullahoma.
Elmo Birkhead is a giver, and for that, we are all the better,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement David Jones. “All of us who love MMC are blessed that Elmo Birkhead has been faithful and generous with her prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness for our beloved college.”
“Almost 10 years ago, visiting with Rosemary and Bill Starnes in Tullahoma, I met one of the most wonderful, kind and unselfish people I know—Elmo Birkhead,” said Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement Edna Luna. “We immediately bonded, and I’m blessed to call her my friend. Likewise, MMC has been so very fortunate to have her support and friendship, and I can’t think of any one more deserving than Elmo Birkhead for the Hall of Distinction Award.