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Averett University began as a school for young women at a time when educating women was not a popular idea. That spirit of innovation has carried through to the present day. Averett University was among the first in Virginia to create an accelerated program for working adults, and is one of only a handful of institutions in the nation to offer bachelor’s degrees in aeronautics and equestrian studies.

Read about the start of the Graduate & Professional Studies Program below.

1980 – 1998: Graduate Degrees and Programs for Adult Learners


  • The first Master of Education degrees were conferred.
  • The men’s soccer team captured the Dixie Conference Championship and the Virginia State Championship.


  • Through the generosity of Jacob M. “Jack” Kleinoder, the Kleinoder Field was constructed from the old Sydnor Athletic field, located at the corner of Mt. View Avenue and Surry Lane. It was rebuilt as a soccer field, but was used for other games as well as for Commencement ceremonies.
  • Aviation was offered as a minor for students in Business Administration/Aviation Management.


  • Tennis courts were built across the street from the parking lot on Surry Lane.
  • A new President’s home at 500 Hawthorne Drive was acquired from the estate of Mrs. A. B. Carrington, Jr.


  • Dr. Jay Hayes, professor of history, published A History of Averett College.
  • Northern Virginia International Program opened at Columbia Baptist Church, in Falls Church.
  • Averett’s first MBA students enrolled in classes.
  • The Ada Nunn Frith Hall was constructed, a four-story brick building to house classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices.
  • Students buried a time capsule on the site of Frith Hall. The capsule contained a copy of George Orwell’s 1984, an Averett orientation package, a popular 45 RPM record, a college patch, a stopwatch, a list of research topics from psychology students, a sheet of gospel music, a copy of the application and tuition check from the college’s first MBA student and, courtesy of the Parents Association, a copy of a tuition bill.


  • President William Howard Lee retired. Frank Ross Campbell was inaugurated as the new president.
  • The ”rat night” tradition of “initiating” freshmen ended.


  • The Jordan Common was built and named in memory of Trustee Robert S. Jordan.
  • The first MBA degrees were conferred.


  • The college’s Annual Fund topped $1 million for first time in its history.
  • President Frank Campbell initiated the first Founder’s Day celebration, which was held on March 17th. Malcom Huckabee, Provost, addressed the faculty, staff, alumni and friends who gathered in Pritchett Auditorium.


  • Averett Adult Curriculum for Excellence (AACE) program opened academic centers in Danville (SOVA) and Vienna (NOVA). This was a non-traditional distance-learning program whereby working adults through an accelerated format could receive an A.A. or a B.A. in business administration.
  • The AACE houses at 146 Woodland Avenue and 303 Robertson Averett were acquired.


  • The North Campus (707 Mt. Cross Road) and the Equestrian Center (1231 Gammon Road, Pelham, NC) properties were acquired.
  • The first graduates of the AACE program received degrees.


  • The Emily Swain Grousbeck Music Center was constructed on Mt. View Avenue, providing practice rooms, a music library, a media center, classrooms and a recital hall.
  • Averett began leasing space at the Danville Regional Airport (424 Airport Drive) for its aviation program, including the bachelor’s degree in airway science.


  • The College opened a Central Virginia Center in Richmond.
  • The first Honors Convocation was held. This ceremony was established for the recognition of superior academic achievements of students in the various disciplines. Faculty members from each department presented the awards.


  • The new Equestrian Center was built on 100 acres in Providence, NC. The facilities included an indoor ring, a stable, and three outdoor training areas.
  • The women’s soccer team competed for the first time in the Dixie Conference.
  • The Averett Honors Program began in the fall of 1993, emphasizing student-generated information and student-led discussions.


  • The college acquired the Financial Aid house at 119 Robertson Avenue, along with a house at 132 Woodland Drive to be used as an Interim Student Center.
  • Online learning comes to Averett: the college began holding MBA classes via interactive distance learning technology with Marine bases in Camp Lejeune, N.C. and Quantico, Virginia.
  • AACE classes began in the Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, N.C.
  • Averett received the largest gift in its history, a $2.84 million dollar bequest from the estate of former Trustee Mary B. Blount of Roanoke.
  • Residence hall rooms were wired for cable television and equipped with analog phone lines. All Averett students were provided with voice mail capabilities.


  • The college dedicated the David S. Blount Chapel in Frith Hall.
  • Bishop Hall’s Conference Center was created.
  • AACE classes began in the Tidewater Center at Virginia Beach.
  • Averett’s men’s baseball team played its first full schedule of conference play.
  • The alumni Potpourri’s name was changed to Current Magazine.


  • North Campus baseball, softball and soccer fields were completed.


  • The E. Stuart James Grant Convocation and Athletic Center was completed on property across the Dan River, at the newly acquired North Campus.
  • AACE changed its name to Graduate and Professional Studies.


View Averett University’s Full History

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