Averett Opens 2023-24 Academic Year with Faculty, Staff Celebration

Posted on August 9th, 2023 by Bill Dyer

Averett University heralded the beginning of the new 2023-24 academic year with a celebration for faculty and staff members Monday, August 7. The annual gathering, held at the Grant Center at the University’s E. Stuart James Grant North Campus, took a look back at the trendsetting 2022-23 academic year and an exciting look forward to the upcoming year.

“I love how the campus starts to feel as we get closer and closer to the start of a new year,” Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, president of Averett University said in her opening remarks. “You can feel the anticipation, the building, the preparing. It’s a kind of energy that can’t be found anywhere else!

“This time of year also brings the excitement of others to us. Families entrusting their most precious ones to us, adults who are returning to school for the first time in years and our whole Averett Family gearing up for new faces, new stories, new challenges, new successes.”

Employees who have joined the Averett Family since August 2022 were recognized by their area vice presidents. During the opening of the event and the brunch, a slideshow with photos provided by faculty and staff highlighting summer activities was shown.

The University then presented a highlight video, celebrating the many successes of the school over the past 12 months. The film addressed accomplishments from the classroom, athletics, fundraising, community engagement and student life.

After the brunch was served, the attendees were presented a “lightning round” by faculty and staff members, focusing on updates and upcoming events as the school year begins. In all, nearly 20 different presenters informed and updated the assembled group about the many ways the University is growing and improving.

“From this class onward, we —Averett — will be serving students whose expectations of the future have been irrevocably shaped by their pandemic years,” Dr. Franks commented. “We are serving their parents and families whose lives have been dramatically changed and we are serving non-traditional-aged online learners who have new expectations for how they want to learn. And we are serving industry that is facing workforce shortages and upheaval that are dramatically altering the world of work.”

Dr. Franks’ address included a slideshow focusing on the challenges facing all of secondary and higher education, and the many ways in which Averett is already working to address them.

“One of the few things in life that almost everyone can count on is Change — whether we love change, fear it or resent it, Dr. Franks continued. “But it’s pretty much guaranteed to affect all of us in almost all aspects of our lives.

“Change at Averett, I’m thankful to say, can be and has been good in many, many ways, but that’s because we work hard not to shy or run away from it. We don’t ignore it and pretend we can outlive it, because, I hope in part, we realize that change means opportunity!