New Building at Three Rivers to be Named Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center

Oct 14, 2015

The new classroom building on the Three Rivers College campus in Poplar Bluff has acquired a new name, thanks to a donation accepted recently by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Naming rights to the new “Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center” were secured by the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, a charitable organization in Lebanon, Mo., in exchange for a significant seven-figure donation to be used toward the cost of the building. The donation also makes the building the new home of Three Rivers’ business programs, as part of the Plaster Foundation’s emphasis on business, free enterprise, and entrepreneurship education.

“We’re extremely pleased to partner with the Plaster Foundation to create the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center,” said Dr. Wesley Payne, President of Three Rivers College. “This classroom building represents a significant upgrade to our educational capacity at Three Rivers, and we’re proud to use that improvement to help educate the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.”

Robert W. Plaster, a Missouri businessman and investor, established the Plaster Foundation in 1983 in order to promote expanded educational opportunities, pride in America, and belief in the free enterprise system, for the benefit of America’s youth through named capital projects.

The Plaster Foundation now continues to support colleges and universities throughout the Midwest in memory of Mr. Plaster.

“I am excited about the new Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center and the opportunities it will bring to the students of Three Rivers,” said Dr. Dolly Plaster Clement, executive director of the Plaster Foundation and daughter of Robert W. Plaster.  “Dad knew that a good education multiplies the effect of hard work and gives students a better start toward success in life.

“The American Dream is possible because of the opportunities available to us in the Free Enterprise system.  A good education, hard work and opportunity add up to success.  And success brings resources to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.”

In addition to housing the college’s business programs, the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center will continue to house Three Rivers’ Nursing and Allied Health department. The 41,400 square-foot facility is the college’s most advanced classroom building, featuring 13 Smart Board-equipped classrooms, a 125-seat lecture hall, a FEMA safe room capable of sheltering 3,000 individuals, and a nursing simulation lab. Construction on the building began in 2014 and completed in fall of 2015.

Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit