The first female judge to sit on the federal bench in Mississippi, Sharion Marie Harp Aycock was born to Darrell and Mary Ruth Harp on 19 December 1955 in Tupelo. She was raised in Tremont, where she graduated from high school in 1973. Aycock attended Mississippi State University, earning a bachelor of arts degree in economics in 1977. Encouraged by one of her professors, Aycock pursued her juris doctorate degree at Mississippi College School of Law, graduating second in the Class of 1980.
Aycock took a position at the A. T. Cleveland Law Office in Fulton, remaining there until 1983. She subsequently opened her own practice, Sharion H. Richardson, P.A., in Fulton, representing clients including the Itawamba County Board of Supervisors, Itawamba County School District, Town of Tremont, City of Fulton, and the Northeast Mississippi Natural Gas District. In addition, she served as the Itawamba County prosecuting attorney from 1984 to 1992 and received gubernatorial appointments to the Mississippi Home Corporation Board, the Mississippi State Personnel Board, and the Governor’s Commission on Youth and Children. In 2000 she became the first woman elected president of the Mississippi Bar Foundation, and two years later she became the first woman elected as a circuit judge for the First Circuit Court District (covering Alcorn, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, and Tishomingo Counties).
In March 2007, at the request of Mississippi’s US senators, Thad Cochran and Trent Lott, Pres. George W. Bush nominated Aycock to replace US District Court judge Glen H. Davidson of Aberdeen. The US Senate unanimously confirmed her nomination on 4 October 2007 and she was sworn in on 26 October.
In May 2008 Aycock received honorary doctor of laws degree from the Mississippi College School of Law and delivered the school’s commencement address. She was also recognized as Mississippi State University’s 2008 Woman of the Year and as the Mississippi Trailblazer of the Year. She is married to William R. “Randy” Aycock.
- Morris W. H. (Bill) Collins Speaker Series, Mississippi State University, website, http://lib.msstate.edu/collins/speakers/aycock
- Thomas A. Wicker, interview with Judge Sharion Aycock