Averett University Launches Fundraising Campaign, Unveils 10-Year Living-Learning Residence Hall Master Plan

Posted on April 20th, 2017 by Cassie Jones

Public phase kicks off with “Campaign for Main,” a fundraising effort to renovate
historic Main Hall

DANVILLE, Va. (Apr.  20, 2017) – Averett University announced today it’s entering the public phase of a multi-phased, 10-year, $28 million campaign to raise funds to renovate existing residence halls and future expansions on its Main Campus in Danville.

Based upon increased student demand to live on campus, the University underwent a feasibility study and derived a plan to accommodate the growing need for additional living-learning spaces. University leaders kicked off the first phase of the campaign today with the “Campaign for Main” at a largely attended announcement on the steps of the University’s most iconic building: Main Hall. After an anonymous $2.5 million signature investment, this phase is an effort to raise another $2 million over the next 12 months to begin renovations to Main Hall in the summer of 2018.

“This beautiful, stately Averett icon will be reinvigorated to be made like new again for the next century of students who will live and learn here,” said Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “This will set the direction for similar renovations throughout Averett’s entire residential community. This main step is just the first step along our path that will combine living and learning in a lasting way.”

Main Hall represents the beginning of Averett’s campus, and will therefore be the first of several residential spaces to undergo renovations over the course of the next decade and beyond. This first phase will include renovations to the third and fourth floors of Main Hall, increasing the bed count from 24 to 76 beds. In addition, the penthouse level, currently not in use, will be renovated into a shared lounge space, including a community kitchen and group study spaces.

More than a year ago, Averett conducted a comprehensive review of the Averett residential life experience, looking at the campus through five lenses – student success; student housing; services and programs; architectural planning and design; and resource allocation and strategies for implementation – and came back with a phased, comprehensive plan that aligns with the University’s mission, vision and values, and will dramatically strengthen Averett’s competitive position for traditional undergraduate students. The extensive discovery process included thorough research and input from many members of the campus community whose feedback helped drive the design.

The 10-year, $28 million master plan identifies options incorporating varying enrollment levels over the next decade, allowing for incremental renovations and extensions. The proposed plan modernizes all existing residential facilities and includes new construction, totaling up to an estimated 300 new beds across the campus as enrollment necessitates. The plan is centered on living-learning spaces, integrating the academic and social experiences of students and facilitating a greater sense of belonging, engagement and community.

After relocating from Downtown Danville since its establishment in 1859, the University began construction on Main Hall in 1910. The three-story Neo-Classical Revival style structure was the first on the acquired 15-acre tract. Since that time, it has housed more than 5,000 students and contains the offices of numerous employees and administrators of the University.

Averett Board of Trustees Chairman Samuel Saunders kicked off today’s program, followed by Franks. In addition to remarks from vice presidents Buddy Rawley and Charles Harris, the audience heard from a current student who lives and works on campus, as well as an Averett alumna who spent many nights in Main Hall during her time as a student. The program was followed by a celebratory lunch on the lawn.

For more information about the campaign or to help contribute to Main Hall renovations, contact Vice President of Institutional Advancement Buddy Rawley at (434) 791-5654, or [email protected]. Donors can mail checks to 420 W. Main St., Danville, VA 24541, or give online at https://www.averett.edu/giving/.


About Averett University

Since 1859, Averett University has grown and developed into a dynamic institution that serves students of all ages, offering more than 30 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs, along with seven graduate programs with a number of concentrations. Dedicated to preparing students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change, the University’s historic main campus is embedded in the heart of Southern Virginia with regional campuses throughout Virginia and online. Averett enrolls a diverse student body, and boasts an alumni network that spans the globe.