Founders’ Day 2020 at Averett

Posted on January 16th, 2020 by Matt Bell

The annual Founders’ Day at Averett University was held Thursday, Jan. 16, with students, faculty, staff, alumni and board members in attendance.

Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks shared with those in attendance some of the unique moments in the school’s 161-year history. Franks said tuition in 1859 was $12.50 for those pursuing an English degree.

The 2020 Founders’ Day celebration featured three Averett alumni — Kenneth Bain’93, Elsabe Dixon ’92 and Hermon Mason ’08.

Bain (BS, Pre-Law) graduated from Averett in 1993 with his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-law. He now serves as president of Mobile Cinema Park Technology Inc., a high-tech ‘edutainment’ system that brings 3-D projection and sophisticated audio, lighting and interactivity systems to schools in Guilford County, N.C. In addition, Bain is the CEO of Beautiful Investments, a construction company, and CEO of JKM Elevators based in the Bahamas.

“Take a step of faith and don’t let anything hold you back. Don’t take the people around you for granted,” Bain said. “I was once where you are at. There was a lot of confusion.”

Bain told the students he met his wife at Averett.

“The first thing she told me was, ‘The Lord told me you will be my husband,’” Bain said.

Dixon (BA, Art) is the executive director of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History. She is also an artist and writer who earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Averett in 1992. The Chatham, Va. resident has worked in a number of roles within museums, schools and non-profits throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Those in attendance heard Dixon’s story of immigrating to America from South Africa in 1985.

“Averett was wide open to transfer credits to,” Dixon said. “Averett was all down-to-earth people.”

Mason, who completed a Bachelor of Business Adminstration degree from Averett in 2008, serves as agency manager for Country Financial in Atlanta, where he has worked since 2012. During this time, he has served in several roles and has been recognized for numerous distinctions and awards.

“I refused to be anyone’s statistic in my life. I wanted to accomplish great things,” Mason said.

Averett’s Graduate and Professional Studies program accepted his credits while he was serving in the United States Marine Corps.

“While in the military, I set out to do what no one else had done —become a college graduate,” he said.

While serving in Iraq, Mason said he still felt like he was part of the Averett Family despite being more than 6,000 miles away.

Mason challenged the students to cherish the relationships they have today.

“Someone in the future may provide you within an opportunity you didn’t have,” Mason said.

Senior Class Secretary Breanna Murphy ’20 gave a charge to the students and told them to be proud of their involvement and achievements — big and small.