Averett University to Honor Alumni and Induct New Members into the Athletics Hall of Fame in Homecoming Ceremony

Posted on October 19th, 2017 by Danielle Staub

During Averett University’s 2017 Homecoming on October 20-22, the University will honor five alumni with Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards and induct four alumni into the Athletics Hall of Fame, in a special ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Pritchett Auditorium in the Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center. The University invites all friends and family who know the award recipients and the community to join in the celebration.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award will be given to Vaughan Alexander ’96, and Richard Riccardelli ’99.

Alexander graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Criminal Justice in 1996. He lives in Richmond with his wife and two children. He is the president of Alexander Insurance. In 1994, he participated in Pi Kappa Phi’s Journey of Hope cycling team, a ride across the country to raise awareness for the disabled.

Riccardelli graduated with in MBA in 1999. He now lives in Woodbridge, Va. and carries the rank of Retired Colonel. Riccardelli has degrees from several universities and is nearing completion of his doctoral degree. He has found a calling as a beekeeper and is working with Virginia Department of Agriculture.

The Recent Alumnus Excellence Award will be given to Corey Williams who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Counseling & Clinical in 2014. He is a Danville native, who moved to Richmond after college and recently returned. He currently works at American National Bank as a relationship banker. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, photography and publishes Rivertown, a monthly online magazine about our region.

The Mary Jo Davis Lifetime Service Award will be given to Eric Miller who graduated with his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1996. Miller is the CEO of his security consulting services firm, Apothem Innovation Solutions Group, LLC. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.

The Fugate-Davis Women’s Leadership Award will be given to Dr. Elizabeth Compton who lives in Danville. She served Averett for 31 years as a professor of education, dean of arts and sciences, and as the vice president for academic affairs. In retirement, she enjoys traveling and staying active with First Baptist Church, which includes singing in the choir.

Averett Athletics will induct the following into its Hall of Fame:

Albert “Eddie” Guessford graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 2004. He was an All-American and two-time all-conference selection on the Averett Baseball team. Guessford helped the Cougars win their first conference championship in 2003. After playing professionally following college, the father of two is a P.E. teacher and coach at Erwin Middle School in Salisbury, N.C.

Beth Schledorn Hicks graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a teaching certificate in 1999 and is the most accomplished Women’s Cross Country runner at Averett. The two-time conference Runner of the Year helped the Cougars appear in two NCAA Regionals and win the 1997 conference title. The mother of two is an after-school art teacher at her YMCA and director of the children’s department at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Lexington, N.C. She continues to run in her spare time.

Michelle Warner graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1999 and is currently the all-time leading scorer in Averett Women’s Basketball history. The two-time all-conference performer and Danville native currently works for APL Logistics and still plays basketball. She uses her knowledge, skill and experience in the sport to mentor youth in the community.

Courtney Carrington Wells graduated in 2004 with an English and history major and a minor in political science, and again in 2007 with her MBA. Wells was a key member of the Averett Volleyball team. She was the 2003 USA South Conference Player of the Year and State Player of the Year all-conference honors three times while she helped Averett win the conference and earn NCAA Tournament appearance twice. She later served as an assistant coach while earning her master’s degree from Averett. The mother of three owns a family poultry farm and manages cattle.