Co-Lin Foundation Hall of Fame inducts six

The Co-Lin Foundation inducted six new members into its Hall of Fame at a banquet held March 30 at the Thames Center on the college’s Wesson Campus. Those inducted for the 2022 class were Mr. and Mrs. Collins Allen, The Baldwin Family, Nora Berch, The Hodges Family, Dr. George and Zoula Hennington Huffman, and Dr. Steven Liverman. Two Hall of Fame members were also recognized for reaching new giving levels. Burrell Kyzar was elevated to Visionary, and Bettye Boutwell was elevated to Benefactor.

Mr. and Mrs. Collins Allen

Collins and Micah Beassie Allen were honored for their contributions to the Educational, Performing Arts, and Athletic Center to be built on Co-Lin’s campus.

Collins is a 1999 graduate of Brookhaven High School and a 2001 graduate of Co-Lin. In 2003, he started Predictive Maintenance Consultants, which performed services within industries related to electrical construction, infrared scans, online and offline electric motor testing, and vibration analysis. In 2006, he founded Dixie Pump, a pump repair facility. In 2010, A&W Electric was formed to do residential and commercial electrical work. He sold his business to Tencarva machinery in 2016, where he currently represents them as a sales engineer and branch manager.

Micah is a 2001 graduate of Brookhaven High School, a 2003 graduate of Co-Lin, and a 2005 graduate of Mississippi College. She also received a Master of Education from MC in 2019, specializing in dyslexia therapy.  She currently works as a dyslexia therapist serving local students and is the cheer coach at Co-Lin.

The Allens are both members of First Baptist Church in Brookhaven, where Collins serves as a deacon. They have four sons, Jack, 16, Mason, 15, Carson, 10, and Judd, nine.

The Baldwin Family

The Baldwin Family was honored for their contributions to the Damon Baldwin Memorial Scholarship.  

Damon was born at Martin Army Community Hospital at Ft. Benning, Georgia on August 22, 1977.  From the beginning, it was apparent that Damon was unique and would require many health professionals.  Within a few days, Damon was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC on the medical air ambulance airplane known as the Nightingale.

During his stay for numerous health-related issues, Damon was eventually diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder, Trisomy 8, and sent home with a very short life expectancy.

But Damon was a survivor and once at home he thrived and defied the odds. There were many things that he could never do: talk, walk, run, etc. But he truly loved during his time with his family. He was funny and loved to laugh.  He loved animals and always wanted to hold them.  He could express love with a look and a smile. He loved unconditionally and inspired those around him to do the same.  Damon passed away seven days shy of his 44th birthday.  

In Damon’s 44 years, he was subjected to many examinations, tests, surgeries, and procedures. His scholarship is established to honor his memory and to support students in health-related programs, as he and his family depended very heavily on numerous health professionals throughout his lifetime.

Family members present for the induction were Damon’s parents, Jimmy and Gail Baldwin, his sisters, Geralyn Russell (Brandon) and Kail Garrett (Josh), his niece, Abby Russell, and his nephews, Wyatt, Walker, and Beau Garrett and Dalton Russell.

Nora Berch

Nora Berch was honored for her contributions to the Elbert and Eugenia Allen Scholarship, which was established by the Allens’ estate. Nora’s mother, Eugenia, was a graduate of Co-Lin, and her father, Elbert, worked on the campus until his retirement.

Nora graduated from Co-Lin High School in 1967, where she remained for her freshman year of college. She met her husband, Albert (‘68) at Co-Lin, and they were married later that year. She returned to finish her degree at Co-Lin in 1975. She also attended Mississippi College.

Nora worked in the Co-Lin President’s office as Dr. Thames’s secretary before beginning a 21.5 year long career with the United States Department of Agriculture. After retirement, she started a second career as executive director for the Copiah County Tourism, a position she still holds on a voluntary basis after funding cuts. During her career, she served as both secretary and president of the National Association of Support Personnel, and she received a certificate for developing and implementing a training program for local office technicians.

In retirement, she stays active through her participation in the Institute of Learning in Retirement at Co-Lin, the Hazlehurst Leadership Team, Keep Crystal Springs Beautiful, the Copiah County Triad, and as a Camellia line dancer. She has served as the executive director of Keep Copiah County Beautiful and as president of the Hazlehurst Chamber of Commerce, where she received Volunteer of the Year. She received an award from the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation for serving as commissioner for eight years. She was honored by a resolution from the Copiah County Board of Supervisors for her service to the Copiah County Economic Development District.

She has been married to Albert for 55 years, and they have two children, Cassondra Cowart (Michael) and Chris Berch (Kira), and four grandchildren.

The Hodges Family

The Hodges Family was honored for their contributions to the Hodges Family Scholarship and the Mr. and Mrs. K.R. Hodges Scholarship.

The Hodges Family Scholarship was established by F.B., Lucien, Graham, Frances, Jimmy, Lucille, and Jessie Anna Hodges in memory of their parents, F.B. and Frances Hodges. The parents were among local Wessonites, who were instrumental in founding Copiah-Lincoln Agricultural High School in 1915, which later grew to establish the college. All seven children were graduates of the high school and later of the college. Dr. Lucien Hodges was the 1976 Alumnus of the Year, and the Rev. Graham Hodges was the recipient of the 1991 Literary Hall of Fame award at Copiah-Lincoln.

The Mr. and Mrs. K.R. Hodges Scholarship was established by the estate of their daughter, Dr. Modena Peterson. Peterson, a graduate of Co-Lin, was a psychiatrist, who spent much of her career at the Whitfield State Mental Hospital.

Family members present were are FB Hodges, Jr (Patsy), Sallie Puryear Kaufmann (Karl), Frank Edward Puryear, Jr., Margaret Hodges Norris (Rick) and Julia Hodges.

Dr. George and Zoula Hennington Huffman

Dr. George and Zoula Hennington Huffman was honored for their contributions to the Winnie Mae Rich Hennington Smith Memorial Scholarship.

Zoula is a 1962 Phi Theta Kappa graduate of Co-Lin and was selected to the college Hall of Fame. She received a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology, a master’s degree and a Specialist in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.

In 1971, she returned to Co-Lin to start the Medical Laboratory Technician program. Zoula served as president of the Mississippi Society of Medical Technology and on the Board of the American Society of Medical Technology. She was selected Medical Technologist of the year for the state. She served as Assistant Vocational-Technical Director at Co-Lin and retired as District Dean of Academic Programs and Student Services at Gulf Coast Community College, where she was voted Administrator of the Year.

Zoula has been on the board and president of both the Co-Lin Alumni Association and the Band and Colette Chapter. She has been selected Alumna of the Year and inducted into the Band & Colette Hall of Fame.

Dr. George Huffman, originally of Summit, is a graduate of McComb High School. He attended Southwest Mississippi Junior College before completing his Bachelor of Science at The University of Southern Mississippi. He received a Master of Business Administration from Mississippi College and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from USM.

He served as an officer in the United States Air Force, where he was selected as an Outstanding Young Man of America for 1970. After active duty, he spent two years as a Liason Officer for the Air Force Academy.

Huffman spent several years in private business prior to joining the staff of Co-Lin as the college’s first industrial training coordinator. He later worked for USM and Jones County Junior College. When he retired, he was JCJC’s Dean of Career and Technical Education.

He has actively participated in the Masonic Orders, the Shrine Club, Lions Club, Elks Club and the Krewe of Elks. The Huffman family has a long history with the Felder Methodist Campground and in 2022 Dr. Huffman completed eight years as the Campground Association President.

They are active members of Beauregard United Methodist Church. They have four children: Dawn Huffman Goolsby (Tracy), Eric Strong (Jennifer), Dr. George (Bo) Huffman (Darla), and Dena Strong Owens (Daryl), 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Dr. Steven Liverman

Dr. Steven Liverman was honored for his contributions to the Sandra H. Friedman Liverman Memorial Scholarship.

Liverman, originally of Montreal, Canada, is a 1970 graduate of Brookhaven High School and a 1974 graduate of Millsaps College, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in 1978 before completing his residency in family medicine at the Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida from 1978-1981. He held the position of chief resident during his final year. He served in the U.S. Navy as a staff physician from 1981 to 1984 at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina.

After leaving active duty, Liverman practiced medicine in Wesson with the help of his father-in-law, Dr. Burton Friedman, and practiced in the community until his retirement in 2022. His allied medical interests included medical acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and alternative and complementary medicine.  Liverman also continued his military service as a reserve officer until he retired as a commander in the United States Navy Reserve in 2007. During his military service, he received the Navy Commendation Medal in 1981 and the Navy Achievement Medal in 1984.

Liverman was a member of Temple B’Nai Sholom in Brookhaven until its closure in 2009, and he is currently a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Jackson. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Wesson Chamber of Commerce and is currently a member of the Wesson Friends of the Library, where he serves as treasurer.

He was married to the late Sandra Friedman Liverman, and they have two daughter, Leaf and Dove, and five grandchildren.

The Co-Lin Foundation Hall of Fame includes individuals and businesses who have donated in excess of $10,000 to the efforts of the Foundation. Contributions can be made to Co-Lin Foundation, P.O. Box 649, Wesson, MS 39191, by calling (601) 643-8313, or online at www.colin.edu/alumni-foundation.

CUTLINE: The Co-Lin Foundation inducted six new members into its Hall of Fame at a banquet held March 30 at the Thames Center on the college’s Wesson Campus. Pictured are (front row, from left) Dr. Gail Baldwin, Dr. George and Zoula Huffman, Bettye Boutwell; (second row) Jimmy Baldwin, FB Hodges, Sallie Kaufmann, Margaret Norris, Nora Berch, Dr. Steven Liverman; (third row) Julia Hodges, Frank Edward Puryear Jr., Kail Garrett, Geralyn Russell, and Micah and Collins Allen.