‘Red headed Boy from Bogue Chitto’ sees building named after him

Published 3:50 pm Friday, April 7, 2023

WESSON — Co-Lin’s Early Child Development Center was dedicated to Tommy Sasser Thursday afternoon. A native of Bogue Chitto, Sasser said he never thought he would ever have a building named after him. Sasser served on the board of trustees from 1985 to 1995 and 1999 to present. 

He was also the Board Chairman from 2018 to 2021. President Jane Hulon-Sims welcomed a crowd of visitors and trustees to the campus for the event. 

“I’ve had the privilege of working alongside him and his love for the faculty and staff is evident in the way he serves and continues to serve as a long standing board member,” Hulon-Sims said. “He has been a steadfast support and a friend to me and many others. There is no better honor than to have this facility named in his honor.” 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Co-Lin Board of Trustees chairman Melton King said it was a privilege to be able to recognize one of the school’s own servants. Sasser has been a mentor to King in his time on the board and will lend a helping hand to the current chairman, King said. 

In his time as trustees chairman at Co-Lin, Sasser saw the completion of the president’s home and athletic facility revamping projects. King thanked him for his work. A group of children at the center presented a gift bag and painted canvas to Sasser. 

“Most of the time you have to tell me to sit down and shut up but I’m at a loss for words,” Sasser said as he stepped up to the podium.

Former Lincoln County Supervisor  Hampton Smith appointed him to the board 35 years ago. Gene Bates served as the chairman of the board for 17 years and Sasser said he wished he could tell him thank you. Bates died in 2021 and was a friend “everyone needs,” Sasser said. 

Sasser’s family has long standing ties to Co-Lin. One of his aunts played basketball for the Lady Wolves in 1938 and was one of the first members of the athletic hall of fame. A cousin, who sat behind him in the crowd, was a member of the Colletes in the 1940s. She is now 92. 

Sasser’s brother played baseball at Co-Lin and is in the athletic hall of fame. His sister also attended Co-Lin.

“If you would have told me, a little red headed boy from Bogue Chitto, that I would have a building named after me. I would have laughed and told you that you were wrong,” Sasser said. “Co-Lin prepared us for senior college and they did a good job of preparing us. I feel like I owe Co-Lin more than Co-Lin owes me.”