Willhite Named Lamar Community College 2013 Alumna of the Year

Marsha Willhite

(Lamar, Colorado; May 1, 2013) Lamar Community College honored its 2013 Alumna of the Year at its 75th Anniversary Homecoming Lunch on April 27. President John Marrin introduced Marsha Willhite who then gave a heartfelt speech about her past, her family, and the influence the college has made on her life. Active in many organizations and activities, Willhite is also the Holly town administrator.

Willhite has an astonishing similarity to the college’s founders. In the midst of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, LCC’s founders stood against overwhelming adversity and created something life changing from the chaos around them. Willhite created the same effect in her community of Holly, Colorado.

Her family has called Southeast Colorado home for generations. She grew up on a farm in Baca County and attended her primary grades in Springfield. Marsha is a farm and ranch wife in Prowers County, mother of four, and grandmother of six.

Her formal education includes a three-year Farm and Ranch Management Certificate from Lamar Community College; a Bachelor of Science degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Business Management from National American University at Denver; and graduate studies in Public Policy Administration at the School of Political Science, University of Colorado at Denver.

In the capacity of Holly town administrator, Marsha serves on the Arkansas River Power Authority and Prowers County Development, Inc., boards as well as the Holly Commercial Club Executive Board.

In December of 2007, Marsha was awarded the Prowers County Sheriff’s Department Officials’ Medal for Outstanding Public Service in the wake of a devastating tornado that ripped through the heart of Holly’s residential neighborhoods on a March evening in 2007. The disaster claimed the lives of two Holly residents and caused millions of dollars of damage to homes, public areas, and the town’s infrastructure. During the intervening years, much of her work has focused on recovery, reconstruction, and economic development and business retention in the Holly community.

The tragedy has allowed Holly to reinvent itself as a vibrant community poised for a bright future. Her energy and determination in the midst of devastation have been an example to her community and all of Southeast Colorado.

Willhite’s civic involvement includes serving on Lamar Community College’s Advisory Council and as a board member of Care Net Pregnancy Center of Southeast Colorado. She has been a church musician since the age of nine; for the past eighteen years, the organist at the First Baptist Church in Holly.

From Vince Lombardi, her favorite quote is, “Leaders aren’t born; they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.” She has illustrated this through her commitment to her family, community, and causes in which she cares deeply.

Lamar Community College is proud to recognize Marsha Willhite as its 2013 Alumna of the Year.

For more information regarding LCC’s alumni awards, see www.lamarcc.edu/alumni or 719.336.1520.

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Filed Under: CollegecommunityCountyFeaturedHollyLamarProwers County


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