Legacy of a Lifetime

campbell01The Averett University family, past and present, is mourning the passing of President Emeritus Dr. Frank R. Campbell. The hearts of those who knew him and those who continue to learn, work and thrive in the legacy he left behind are full of gratitude for his many accomplishments during his tenure and his lasting impact on the entire community.

Campbell was the 12th president of Averett, serving from 1985-2002. Over those 17 years, he brought about significant changes and growth, advancing and expanding the university in new and exciting ways.

For his full obituary and for information on his arrangements and memorial details, click here.

“We feel profound sadness as we mourn the passing of this great man, compassionate servant, and visionary leader. He was beloved and his legacy lives in all those who were privileged to know him and is witnessed and experienced every day on Averett’s campus. He was a true trailblazer and we are grateful and honored to be able to build upon his many significant legacies today. The Averett community holds the entire Campbell family it its prayers. ”

– Tiffany M. Franks, president of Averett University

BSU-Campbell“We are still in business today because of Frank Campbell. He gave us the endowment we presently have, when he came here it was $240,000 and he grew it to more than $25 million. He also gave us the massive adult program, now our Graduate and Professional Studies Program. Averett would not be the institution we are today without Frank Campbell.

When he first came to Averett he made a special effort to get to know faculty, as well as students. He was very concerned with people and people’s needs.”

– Jay Hayes, professor of history

“Dr. Campbell was president of Averett when I first arrived here as a student. He was always kind and made himself available to talk with and listen to students. I remember students at other schools being surprised by the fact we had the opportunity to interact with our president and that he took the time to get to know us. In many ways Dr. Campbell exemplified the things that are best about Averett and his influence lives on in our campus community.”

– Susan Huckstep ’89, former staff member and current assistant professor, communication studies/journalism and English

campbell_northcampus“During his tenure as Averett’s President, Dr. Frank Campbell was a  tireless worker and a visionary leader as he led the faculty and staff in the development of new programs and initiatives. Those programs and initiatives are too numerous to list, but the birth of the GPS program, the expansion of the equestrian and aviation programs and facilities, and the expansion of athletics are among the hallmarks of his success.  And, the discussion to move Averett to the university level began under his leadership. His efforts resulted in the foundation of the Averett University that exists today.  

            Dr. Campbell was a Southern gentleman who was courteous and respectful to both colleagues and students. I enjoyed working with him and I know that he enjoyed his work as President of Averett, and Averett continues to enjoy the fruit of his labor.”

– Elizabeth Compton, former vice president for academic affairs

“I worked with Dr. Frank Campbell for all the years of his tenure and I always found him approachable, supportive and outgoing. He knew everyone on campus and he had many friends in the community. I can think of no one who did more for Averett’s athletic program than Dr. Campbell and he also showed himself to be a strong advocate for the academic program. He will certainly be missed.”

– Dr. Steve Ausband, faculty emeritus

Averett University under the leadership of Dr. Frank Campbell


  • Achieved university status
  • Raised nearly $50 million
  • Increased endowment to nearly $26 million
  • Constructed Grousbeck Music Building, Equestrian Center, North Campus, Averett Commons Apartments, Football Facility
  • Introduced Graduate and Professional Studies Program
  • Added master of arts in teaching degree and master of education degree
  • Expanded athletic program to include men’s baseball, football and women’s soccer
  • Completed Frith Hall
  • Remodeled Pritchett Auditorium
  • Remodeled every building on campus at least once
  • Expanded campus from 19 to 210 acres
  • Led campus through two re-accreditations
  • Forged partnerships for creation of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
  • Represented Averett in the community
  • Elected president of Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia and of Dixie Athletic Conference