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University Graduates 293 in April Commencement

May 5, 2011

Every student, from high school to college, looks forward to graduation day. For 293 Averett University students, that day was Saturday, April 30. As they prepared to pursue their bold futures, Dr. Stephen Ausband, vice president for academic affairs, encouraged the graduates to "find meaningful work."

"Find meaningful work by letting yourself be used, demanding to be used," Ausband, a 40-year veteran (that's 82 semesters) at the University, said. "Even your best teachers and books are guides to use to find your meaning in life. You will make us happiest and proudest if you use us to find your meaning in the things you do."

The following awards were presented during the ceremony:
- Malcolm Knowles Award (highest GPA in the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) Program) to Dennis J. McDonnell of Williamsburg
- Frank R. Campbell Award (second highest GPA in the GPS Program) to Breon J. Haskett of Kennesaw, Ga.
- Mary C. Fugate Award (highest GPA for the traditional program) to Shannon Kathleen Andy of Suffolk
- Grace V. Crenshaw (second highest GPA for the traditional program) to Mirva Elina Toivonen of Helsinki, Finland
- Curtis Bishop Award for Outstanding Service to Cambria Nicole Leask of Crossfield, Alberta, Canada
- American Legion Citizenship Award to Kathryn Paige Mills of Dry Fork
- C.L. Davenport Award for General Excellence to Shannon Andy

Also awarded during Commencement was the inaugural Ausband Medallion, which was presented to Ausband by Averett President Tiffany Franks and Board of Trustees vice chair Calvin Snowden, '94.

The University also announced faculty members who were promoted and achieved tenure. Those who achieved tenure were Dr. Lyle Cady, associate professor of business administration; Penny Sornberger, assistant theatre professor; Dr. Eugene Steadman, professor of business administration; and Dr. Jane Wiseman, who was also promoted to associate professor of English. Professors who were promoted include Dr. Deborah DeMarey, associate professor of biology; and Dr. Bill Trimyer, professor of religion. Dr. Ann Garbett, English professor, who retired last year, was named faculty emerita.