Special to the Register & Bee

Averett University recently announced it has conferred the degrees of more than 200 graduating seniors.

The 202 graduates include 14 veterans and three international graduates from Finland, Norway and Sweden. Just under half of the graduates are adults who completed their degrees through the University’s graduate and professional studies program. The university conferred degrees at both the baccalaureate and master’s level.

In the absence of Averett’s semi-annual, in-person commencement ceremony, which was postponed due to pandemic public health guidelines, spring graduates will be honored in December when they will have the opportunity to participate in the traditional pomp and circumstance of a college graduation ceremony with their classmates receiving their degrees in the winter. Averett will be combining it spring graduation traditions with its winter commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Dec. 12 at the E. Stuart James Grant Athletic and Convocation Center on Averett’s North Campus. In addition, Averett will hold a special celebratory event for all May graduates on the Friday evening before, which among other things, will include the recognition of seniors who won academic and major University awards.

“Like schools all across the country, Averett University has been faced with making very difficult decisions on postponing major university events and traditions, like graduation, based on public health guidelines,” said Averett President Tiffany M. Franks. “We know what a bittersweet time this is for our seniors, their families and their loved ones; college graduation is a very emotional time of immense pride and celebration, and we wanted our ensure our students have that full, in-person experience with their peers that is so well-deserved.”

Spring graduates will still graduate with a graduation date of May 2 and will receive their diplomas in the mail. The university shared a special video tribute that day when their original ceremony would have been held.

“It will be wonderful to see our graduates at the ceremony in December and to read their names aloud as they cross the stage wearing their caps and gowns,” said Timothy E. Fulop, vice president of academic affairs and student success. “All of our students, faculty and staff have persevered under such unique circumstances, and we couldn’t be more proud of all they’ve accomplished.”

Traditional undergraduate awards

  • Mary C. Fugate: Noel Dianne Muehlbauer
  • Grace V. Crenshaw:
  • Andrew Walker Lancaster
  • C.L. Davenport Award For Excellence: Tyler
  • Campbell
  • Curtis Bishop Award: Andruw Cain
  • American Legion Citizenship Award: Rosa Morales

Graduate and professional studies awards

  • Malcolm Knowles Award: Katie Callow Whisenant
  • Frank Campbell Award: Steven Mark Neville

Danville and Pittsylvania County graduates

  • Susan Westbrook, Denise LaSalle Lindsey, Thomas Dean Clark, Ridge Forrester Davis, Joshua Charles Ellis, Margaret Marie Robertson, Timothy Ray Robertson, Frances Marie Bray, Hunter Logan Crews, Kayley Carden Hipp, Rebecca Leigh Hunt, Rebecca Haley Sigmon, Andrew Thomas Van Der Hyde, Jaclyn Brooke Aaron, Angela Atkins, Judith Michelle Brown, Tyler Scott Campbell, Peggy Elizabeth Cervantes, Diana Lizbeth Cisneros Morales, Erika Shanelle Culley, Robert Austin Dickerson, Elizabeth Hayley Dinkle, Jacquelyn Mel Louise Dodd, Taylor Marie Doss, Christie Charisse Fallen, Christopher Lee Harbin, Makenna Drew Harris, Yolanda Hicks, Chelsea Catelin Hillas, Robin Jennings Jackson, Adrienne Frances Jeter, Kimberly Dawn Jones, Carrie Crews Keller, Andrew Walker Lancaster, Chelsea Faith Lavinder, Pre’Toria Mary Lester, Rebecca Ann Lutz, Jessica Dawn McClanahan, Amanda Jo McKinney, Demi Skyler Mills, Nicole Leigh Morris, Corven DeShunn Owens, LeAnne Michelle Parsons, Crystal Lisette Perry, Stormy Claire Rigsby, George Nicholas Roos, Pamela Denise Seal, Mary Theresa Seckar, Kiara La’Shawn Smith, Emily Paige Smoot, Jered Matthew Tubb, Antoinette Dominique Wade, Tiffany Lee Bowker, Lori Bryant Bell, Austin Reed Neville, Cassidy Rayna Pruitt, Hollie D. Barker, Victoria Nicole Collie, Fredrick Lamar Betts, Lena Donn Pulliam.

Averett is making plans to reopen this fall for in-person classes with the social distancing and other precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the members of our community.

“We will share updates as soon as we can, but no matter the circumstances, our students will be able to continue moving forward with their education,” Franks said.

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