''Paw Paw'' to speak at PRCC graduation

May 6, 2011 - 1:23pm -- braswell

POPLARVILLE - A leading Pearl River County businessman will share tips on how to succeed when he serves as Pearl River Community College commencement speaker.W.B. Dub Herring of Picayune will speak during PRCC annual graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, at the James Lynn Cartlidge Forrest County Multi Purpose Center in Hattiesburg.Better known in South Mississippi as Paw Paw, Herring is owner of Paw Paw Campers and Cars in Picayune.I know about life and that what theyre going to do - going out in the real world, Herring said about the graduates. They have to make a living. Im excited about talking to the graduates.Although final grades are still being compiled, officials expect the May 17 ceremony to be the largest in PRCC 100-year history.Herring, a native of Grenada, started shining shoes and selling newspapers when he was only 9 years old. By age 17, he was a corpsman in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. After serving in the military, he attended Holmes Junior College and played football.His adult work life started as a postal clerk and mail carrier, then moved into the automotive industry with a salesman job and then a general manager position.In 1978 he opened Dub Herring Ford-Lincoln-Mercury and later Dub Herring Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep in Picayune. He soon became known throughout the Gulf South by his unique slogan, That a good car, Paw Paw! Herring got into the RV business in 1992, establishing Paw Paw Camper City.I didnt come here to make a living, he said of his move to Picayune. I came here to make a life.Part of that life has been supporting his alma mater, as well as Pearl River through the Development Foundation.Ive enjoyed working with them, he said. They let me be on one of the committees and be the auctioneer for the Extravaganzas (fundraisers). I like to be around young people. It keeps you young.Herring provides scholarships to Pearl River annually for a male and female student from Hancock, Pearl River Central, Picayune Memorial and Poplarville high schools.They dont have to be straight-A but they have to be achievers, he said.Colleges traditionally search for a graduation speaker who is a role model for the graduates, said PRCC President Dr. William Lewis.In particular, we search for very successful people who have a community college background, he said. Dub Herring is the epitome of a community college graduate who has achieved tremendous professional success and has been a great contributor to the improvement of his community. He will serve as a great example of what an individual can achieve with a community college background.Pearl River honored Herring with the Distinguished Service Award in 1999. Holmes Community College followed suit in 2000.He has received numerous other awards as well, including Picayune Citizen of the Year in 1993 and Time Magazine/Goodyear Mississippi Dealer of the Year in 1999. He has served as Mississippi state coordinator of the Lay Renewal Ministry and Co-founder and Director of Day-Star Ministries, a facility specializing in the care and education of abused women, and is the founder of Jacob Well Women Ministry, a rehab center for women addicted to drugs and alcohol. Herring has also been active as a Gideon speaker for 35 years.Herring wasnt expecting the invitation to speak at graduation.I was pretty surprised and excited about it, too, he said. Im looking forward to it. Ive been around a long time - maybe Ive got a little wisdom.