Averett University: Top 17 in 2017

Posted on December 31st, 2017 by Cassie Jones

By Ashley Bowman
Special to the Office of Marketing and Communications

2017 was a great year for Averett University…so great that we wanted to highlight the top 17 stories from the past year – everything from record rankings to welcoming our largest freshman class. These milestones are listed in chronological order below, and featured on our social channels at #17in2017.

  1. On January 30, Averett opened a new campus Health and Wellness Center. Located within the Galesi Family Student Success Center, the new space assists students seeking medical care and various wellness checks without having to leave campus. This was made possible through a partnership with SOVAH Health (formerly Danville Regional Medical Center). To read more about the opening of the center, click here.
  2. The Graduate and Profession Studies Program (GPS) at Averett announced in March of 2017 that they would be partnering with four businesses: Keystone Academic Solution, BayPort Credit Union, Planet Fitness and the John Randolph Medical Center. These four are the latest to be added to the growing list of community partnerships. To find out more about partnerships within our GPS program, read here.
  3. The Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC) at Averett launched a new online platform in partnership with the Dan River Nonprofit Network to help the Averett family and the Dan River Region serve the community year-round. Visit serve365.org to see the needs, events and agencies within the community for chances to volunteer, and click here to read more about the formation of this website.
  4. Averett University and Piper Aircraft, Inc. launched an Aviation Alliance in April of 2017 which provides state-of-the-art training aircraft, as well as scholarships for students, instructor training and marketing support. To discover more about the Piper Aircraft and Averett Aviation Alliance, read here.
  5. On April 20, Averett announced a fundraising effort to renovate historic Main Hall. This is part of a 10-year, $28 million campaign to raise funds to renovate existing residence halls and future expansions of Main Campus. Main Hall will be the first residence hall to receive major updates in this 10-year plan with renovations starting in the summer of 2018. To read more about Campaign for Main, the renovations planned or to make a donation, click here.
  6. Connected with the National Bonner Leader Program under the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, Averett announced the addition of its own Bonner Leader program in April. This is a four-year service and leadership scholarship for students in which they will enter a community-based curriculum and be able to form long-lasting relationships with community partners. To learn more about the National Bonner Leader program and how Brigid Belko, the director for experiential learning at the CCECC, plans to continue to develop this program, read here.
  7. Averett University’s Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team became 2017 national champions after finishing first at a competition hosted by Centenary University in New Jersey. Previously, Averett had never held a national win as a team, only individual titles. To find out more details about individual awards and what schools were present at the event, click here.
  8. Move-in weekend saw the largest incoming freshmen class in Averett University’s history. The class of 2021, made up of 385 students, surpassed the previous largest class size of 337. The incoming class was made up of students from all around the world, including 16 states and 15 countries. Click here to get more details about this incoming class.
  9. Averett reached its highest ranking with U.S. News & World Report this year. The University made it to no. 17 on the “Best Regional Liberal Arts College in the South.” In addition to this achievement, Averett also climbed in other rankings – the seventh “Best Regional College in the South for Veterans,” as well as the ninth Southern Regional College for Best Value. For more details about the U.S. News & World Report and how Averett has progressed through the list, click here.
  10. In September, Averett unveiled its new historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historical Resources. Several Averett and community leaders, including Danville Mayor John Gilstrap, spoke at the event. Currently there are more than 2,500 official state markers, most of them maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation. To read what the sign says and for more information regarding Averett’s historical marker, click here.
  11. During the weekend of Oct. 20-22, Averett University held its 2017 Homecoming (“No Place like Home”). The weekend’s festivities included a Homecoming Hometown Party at the Danville Community Market, a ceremony honoring alumni award recipients and Hall of Fame inductees, the traditional tailgate party before the football game, and much more. To see a full list of events and the names of inductees, read here.
  12. This year, Averett partnered with 29 community partners for 58 service projects during Week to Engage (Sept. 10-16). More than 350 students, faculty and staff members participated. See a quick video recap here.
  13. Averett University was able to join the national ranks of several colleges and universities with the addition of an Esports team in October of this year. Averett is now the only four-year university in Virginia to add a varsity competitive gaming program and is already competing with Division I and II schools. To find out more about the formation of our Esports team and those behind it, read here.
  14. “Shatter the Silence. End the Violence.” This was the phrase printed on the back of T-shirts at Averett’s first Take Back the Night event held on October 23. The University’s freshmen IDS classes and the Women & Gender Studies service-learning class partnered with Haven of the Dan River Region, a local nonprofit aimed at providing assistance and services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, to bring to light stories of those affected by these issues. Follow here for more details on Take Back the Night.
  15. With help from an anonymous donor, Averett was able to add three new Division III athletics programs – Women’s and Men’s Lacrosse as well as Men’s Wrestling. The 2017-2018 school year is the inaugural year for these teams and with a successful wrestling season already underway, it will be Lacrosse play this spring. To read more about the formation of these athletic programs, click here.
  16. Averett’s GPS program announced a new video conferencing format – “Cougar Connect” – for students at the Danville, Richmond, Roanoke and Quantico satellite campus locations. Students at the various campuses are now able to interact with students and professors on the ground in real time. To learn more about Cougar Connect and to follow the GPS program, click this link.
  17. In November, Averett Athletics and the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) collected a record-breaking 17,300 canned food items and other nonperishables to win the University’s third consecutive USA South “Cans Across the Conference” competition. Averett became the first school to win three years in a row. Click here to find out more information about the competition and other Averett SAAC events.