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News & Headlines

November 23, 2016


Three Rivers Alumni Receives Statewide Recognition

Three Rivers College alumni Larry DeWitt received the Missouri Community College Association's Distinguished Alumni Award at the association's 52nd Annual Convention at the Hilton Convention Center in Branson, Missouri.

"Mr. DeWitt's story illustrates the impact a community college education can have on a person and on an entire community," said Dr. Wesley Payne, President of Three Rivers College. "We're proud to call him one of our alumni and grateful for the numerous ways he gives back to Three Rivers."

DeWitt credits Three Rivers College with giving him the opportunity to pursue higher education and the confidence to create a career in the horticulture field he loves. DeWitt graduated from Three Rivers in 1971, then went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University in 1973. It was there that he discovered his love of horticulture.

Soon after graduating, DeWitt started his own landscaping business in Sikeston. Then in 1977 he began looking for an alternative to the plastic barriers used to prevent weeds. His solution was DeWitt's Weed Barrier, a woven product now used in more than 70 percent of commercial landscaping in the United States.

Today, the DeWitt Company has annual sales of about $40 million and produces more than 800 products at a 300,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sikeston that employs more than 50 people.

DeWitt has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of landscape plans at Three Rivers' main campus in Poplar Bluff and at Three Rivers-Sikeston. Not only has he donated time, expertise, products, and equipment, he has convinced other companies and agencies to do the same.

Because of Three Rivers' limited budget, these landscaping efforts might have been postponed or not done at all if not for DeWitt and his willingness to help.

"With Larry spearheading this project and getting items donated or at cost, Three Rivers has been able to proceed with major beautification efforts while still focusing our resources on the needs of our students and staff," said Missy Marshall, Director of Three Rivers College–Sikeston.

MCCA's Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to exceptional individuals who have attended a Missouri community college. It is one of the most prestigious awards presented by the membership of the Association.

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Larry DeWitt, a Sikeston resident, businessman, and entrepreneur has been awarded the Missouri Community College Association's (MCCA) Distinguished Alumni Award. The award was presented at MCCA's annual convention held in Branson, Missouri.
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