One Averett, Together Again

Averett University’s Fall 2020 Plan for Reopening

The Averett experience is a valued one, and while we knew that the Fall 2020 would be different for us all as we worked through health and safety precautions, we remain committed to providing a memorable on-campus experience.

Averett University implemented a phased, on-campus reopening for its Fall 2020 semester. We are confident in our plans for a safe and enriching semester with the help of each person on campus.

Below is a glimpse of some major highlights, and a more comprehensive and detailed plan can be found here. This plan has been reviewed by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and has been found to be compliant in containing the required components of the ‘Higher Education Reopening Guidance,’ which was developed in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health.

We invite you to check this page regularly, monitor LiveSafe and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the most recent news, alerts and updates.

To read past communications distributed to the university community regarding Averett’s response to the coronavirus, click here.

COVID-19 Data Dashboard

In an effort to keep our campus informed, we have developed a dashboard that will track any COVID-19 activity on Averett’s campuses. For the latest information, click here.

Winter Graduation 2020 and Spring 2021 Semester

Averett University Winter 2020 Commencement Update

Averett University has reimagined its upcoming Winter 2020 Commencement to adhere to all statewide health and safety recommendations. Due to the Governor of Virginia’s recent order limiting all indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than 25 people, we will not be able to hold Commencement in the way we have been planning. However, we are committed to reinventing this experience and making this milestone as meaningful and memorable as possible.

We have developed a two-pronged approach that includes an in-person opportunity and a virtual component. First, we will livestream a virtual commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at Viewers will virtually enjoy the many traditions of graduation, complete with the bagpipe introduction, pomp and circumstance, the National Anthem, commencement address, award presentations, the reading of the graduates along with honors, the singing of the Alma Mater and our blessing upon the graduates.

Then, on Saturday, Dec. 12, we are excited to invite graduates to come to the Averett University E. Stuart James Grant North Campus (707 Mount Cross Rd.) for an individualized, in-person commencement experience with up to four guests in attendance. Graduates will walk across the formal graduation stage indoors with their guests cheering them on as their names are read aloud by Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Timothy Fulop. They will be presented their diploma and pose for a socially distanced graduation photo with Averett President Dr. Tiffany Franks. Alumni Director Dan Hayes will present graduates with their keepsake alumni pin, symbolizing their official entry into Averett’s alumni family. This event will also be live-streamed so that the special moment of walking across the commencement stage will be captured and shared at large.

Graduates wanting to participate in Saturday’s in-person event can sign up for a 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m. or 1 p.m. time slothere. The deadline to request a time slot is December 1. We can accommodate up to 40 graduates and their guests during each of the timeframes with a very precise process of ushering participants through. We will hold additional times for graduates to participate should there be enough interest.

Graduates will receive very detailed instructions for the in-person process. Graduates must be registered in advance, as well as register the names of their guests (up to four). Upon arrival on December 12, cars will follow a designated route throughout the parking lots on North Campus, and graduates and their registered guests will exit their vehicles only at their time to enter the Grant Center and cross the commencement stage. There will also be additional opportunities for outdoor photos at distanced photo stations. All health and safety protocols will be followed at all times – masking, social distancing and a maximum of 25 people in a single area indoors or outdoors – and doors will be opened throughout the Grant Center to allow for cross-ventilation.

“While my heart aches for our graduates and the many obstacles they’ve faced this year, I’m thrilled they get this customized celebration with their loved ones and will still have their special moment to walk across the graduation stage,” said Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “I’m proud that we were able to transform a challenging situation into this personalized experience that only Averett can do.”

Spring 2021 Semester

The spring 2021 semester will follow the published schedule. Spring break has been placed back on the schedule.

To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the tradition of service, there will be no classes on MLK, Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, to allow for service and other observances, but offices will be open.

Media and Plan Links

Academics and Classrooms

We are excited to welcome students back for a new semester. While students have been away, we have been preparing to create classrooms that will support needed changes, and our faculty have been spending their summers getting ready.

Although some classrooms will look a little different, we are committed to keeping our students on a seamless path toward graduation. This fall, the high-quality, personalized attention students expect from Averett remains the same with an emphasis on health and safety protocols.

A Safe and Healthy Campus

As Averett University works toward reopening this fall, our number one priority is to provide a safe and healthy living, learning and working environment; and to protect and support the health, wellness and safety of our entire Averett family.

We will be taking these extra measures across our campuses to make sure everyone will be as safe as possible. Health and safety protocols will include: face coverings, enhanced sanitation, social distancing, single points of entry and daily self-screenings. Averett will utilize schedule changes, extended mealtimes, event registration, appointments for services, reconfigured common spaces, and providing virtual access to limit occupancy and maintain social distancing in public spaces. In order to limit the size of gatherings and/or provide physical distancing during gatherings, President’s Council members have established operational plans to implement new standards.

Guiding Principles




Welcoming Back Averett Students

After an extraordinary end to the spring semester, we are excited to be together again soon. We know that this semester will be like none other, but we are completely committed to providing the full Averett experience. We have missed our students, and can’t wait to welcome them back to campus this fall.

We are focused on ensuring our support of students as they transition back to campus life. Students will be provided health and safety information in advance of their arrival, and will undergo additional orientation sessions on detailed guidelines and University resources once back on campus.





Welcoming Back Averett Employees

The wellbeing of the Averett community is paramount as faculty and staff plan to return to campus this summer. Faculty and staff, many of whom have been working remotely since mid-March, will be coming back to campus in organized increments, beginning July 6 and running throughout July and early August. Averett is offering flexibility in responding to its employees’ individual circumstances.