jayhayesDr. Jack Hayes,
Professor of History, Chair of the Department of History and Political Science

Email: jack.hayes@averett.edu
Phone: 434-791-5747
Office: Frith Hall 418

Since coming to Averett in 1974, Hayes has been active in the life of the University and the nation’s academic community. He teaches all of the American History classes, the History of Great Britain and Western Civilization.  As a specialist in recent American history, Hayes’ publications include “Dan Daniel and the Persistence of Conservatism in Virginia” (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1997, 258 pages); “South Carolina and the New Deal” (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001, 290 pages) – in 2002 it was nominated for the Littleton-Griswold Prize, which is given by the American Historical Association; “The Lamp and the Cross: A History of Averett College, 1859-2001” (Macon, Mercer University Press, 2004, 251 pages); and numerous entries in the Dictionary of Virginia Biography and the South Carolina Encyclopedia.

During his tenure at Averett he has served on various committees and sponsored student organizations including: the Baptist Student Union, three presidential search committees, faculty representative to the NCAA and chaired the Faculty Council.

In addition to participating in campus activities, Hayes is also active in local, state and regional affairs. He has served as Lieutenant Governor of the Kiwanis clubs in Central and Western Virginia; as President and Secretary of the Danville Kiwanis Club; President and Secretary of the Salvation Army Advisory Board; and Secretary of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Hayes earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampden-Sydney College, his Master of Arts degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of South Carolina.


Doctor of Philosophy, University of South Carolina

Master of Arts, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Bachelor of Arts, Hampden-Sydney College


Canady-2782Dr. Andrew McNeill Canady
Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program

Office: Davenport Hall 105B
Phone: 434-791-7175

“I’ve never had a class of his,” says Kevin, an Averett senior, “but I know who he is — he’s the one rockin’ a bow tie.”

Of course Dr. Andrew Canady doesn’t always wear a bow tie, but when he does, it’s certainly not a clip-on. “Oh, no,” he says with a laugh, “of course they’re ones I have to tie myself. Funny, isn’t it, how a little thing like a tie can make such an impression.”

One could say that it makes sense for his style (a classic tie) to be influenced by the past; after all, he is a scholar of the past. “My interest in history began when I was in elementary school,” he admits. “I simply enjoyed learning about the past.”

Now he passes along that understanding, both at Averett and in the community around Danville.

“I love the diversity here,” he says. “Danville is about 50 percent Black, and Averett is an open-minded university in a conservative part of the country. I like that. I also like the diversity of Averett’s enrollment. Our racial diversity is unusual in such a small, private school … and we have many international students, too. They really bring a richness of cultural differences.”

Canady is an active presenter among the area’s communities, both on- and off-campus, and he’s a travelin’ man, as well. He takes Averett’s Honors Program students on educational trips here and abroad.

For instance, they just returned from Washington D.C., and they leave soon for London. (He should know his way around London; he lived and studied there for a semester when he was an undergraduate.)

The Honors conference they attend annually will be in Richmond, Virginia, this year. For their travel next year? “Haven’t decided yet. One trip probably will be to Boston, Charleston or Savannah.”

Many of the Honors Program activities are planned over meals. Canady meets with those students over lunch, usually. “I enjoy getting to know all the students — Honors and others — and it’s one reason I came to Averett. Although I still do some research, the emphasis here is on teaching, not on publishing.”

He adds, “I went to small, private schools myself, and I want to teach in a place that allows the students and professors to get to know each other. It can make a big difference, especially to first-generation [first in the family to attend college] students.”


Doctor of Philosophy, History, Rice University

Master of Arts, History, Rice University

Bachelor of Arts, Wake Forest University, double major in History and Religion

Dr. Joshua Sperber
Assistant Professor of Political Science and History

Office: 312 Frith Hall
Phone: 434-791-5773
Email: jsperber@averett.edu

After teaching in New York City and Los Angeles for five years, Joshua Sperber began working at Averett in 2018. He received his PhD in political science at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he focused on American Politics and International Relations. Prior to his work at the Grad Center, he received an MA in Modern European Studies, focusing on 20th century European history, at Columbia University. Originally from Los Angeles, Sperber began his academic career at Los Angeles Valley College and then transferred as a history major to San Francisco State University. After attending and working at large schools, Sperber is excited to be at a small but lively and  stimulating campus.