January 2022
Member News is a monthly newsletter that provides news about Chamber members.
In collaboration with our Innovation Partners, the Chamber enhances and energizes the region with an innovative, profitable business community.

Organizations that invest in the Chamber’s mission position themselves at the forefront of the business community not only in Danville and Pittsylvania County, but also across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

If you would like to invest in the Chamber’s mission, visit www.dpchamber.org/innovationpartners or email madison@dpchamber.org.
Averett University conferred the degrees of more than 135 graduates on Saturday, Dec. 11, from its Grant Center on the E. Stuart James Grant North Campus.

The graduating class of 2021, aged 21 to 63, includes seven veterans and six international students from Finland, Spain and Sweden. At least 20% are first-generation college graduates in their families.

Ninety-three graduates participated in today’s commencement ceremonies – 85 who graduated today, and eight who completed their degrees in August but walked today. The University conferred degrees at both the baccalaureate and master’s levels, with nearly a third of graduates from the traditional program and two-thirds graduating from Averett Online.

Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks opened the exercises and introduced the commencement speaker, Clark Casteel.
Casteel took the time to talk to graduates about the current “disrupted economy” – changes from accelerating factors like technology, globalization and demographics that have disrupted every single industry.

He continued with insight from lessons he’s learned along the way, including five pieces of advice:

  • You don’t have to tell everything you know [like you see on social media and reality TV]
  • The things you don’t know right now mean less in the long run than what you’re willing and able to learn
  • Sometimes you’ve got to say, “Let’s give it a go!”
  • It’s not always going to work out, and that’s okay
  • Be ready to take advantage of your luck
  • Know that your learning doesn’t stop here, it started here. Give it go. Go out and be useful. Create a life you don’t feel the need to escape from

Following the commencement address, Franks named Casteel an honorary member of the Averett graduating class of 2021 and presented him with a pin.

The ceremony included the traditional bagpipe processional, an invocation from University Chaplain Skyler Daniel and performance of the national anthem by Professor of Music and Department Chair Dr. Anne Lewis. Rev. Dr. Daniel Carlton ’90, chair of the Averett Board of Trustees, welcomed graduates and guests on behalf of the board, and Dr. Gary Tucker ’85, mathematics professor and division chair, sang the Alma Mater. Dr. Tucker and Jackie Finney ’80, theatre department co-chair and division chair, presented the graduates and recognized those receiving awards, including:

Traditional Undergraduate Awards (Highest GPA):
Mary C. Fugate Award: Erik Oskar Blick
Grace V. Crenshaw Award: Oliver Nicolas Ruff

Averett Online Awards (Highest GPA):
Malcolm Knowles Award: Michael Edward Baumgardner
Frank Campbell Award: Amy Taylor Davis
Averett University is proud to announce that President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks has been awarded the 2022 Courageous Leadership Award by Credo, a comprehensive higher education consulting firm that specializes in working with independent colleges and universities.

This annual award is presented to an independent college president who meets a number of criteria, and Dr. Franks is the ninth honoree.

View the full news release from Credo by clicking the button below.
Averett University marked another first this morning at its inaugural Family Nurse Practitioner Pinning Ceremony. The event honored the School of Nursing’s first Master of Science in nursing graduates.

Four graduates completed two years of academic and clinical requirements to be pinned as an FNP, moving into the advanced practice realm of nursing.  

Assistant Professor and Simulation Coordinator Dr. Karen Oaks – an FNP, herself – shared just how vital Nurse Practitioners have become in patient care. More than one billion Americans of all ages and in all health care settings received care this past year from an NP. Of 325,000 NPs nationwide, almost 70% of them are FNPs, providing general, family-focused care.

Clare Doss ’17, Sherri Eagle ’15 and Abigail McGinnis received pins today that represent the University and the nursing profession. They also participated in the ceremonial blessing of the hands with University Chaplain Rev. Skyler Daniel, a tradition that serves as a reminder that the human touch is a crucial part of health care and honors the spiritual aspects found in health professions. A fourth graduate of the cohort, Angela Hubble, was unable to attend the ceremony held at Averett’s Riverview Campus, which houses the School of Nursing.
Averett announced its addition of graduate level nursing programs in 2019, and the inaugural class of MSN students began in January 2020, just before the beginning of COVID-19 in the United States. These nursing graduates were also part of the University’s first white coat ceremony in May, in which MSN students were presented their white coats to signify entering into their clinical experience.

Averett’s School of Nursing’s offerings include a four-year traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, and the MSN program with a focus in two key areas – Family Nurse Practitioner and Emergency Nurse Practitioner. The University also recently launched an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in Norfolk, Va.
The Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, in collaboration with the New York City Abingdon Square Painters, presents Harriet Fitzgerald and the Abingdon Square Painters as a Storefront Exhibition in Danville’s River District. This exhibition of specifically curated banners produced by Anthony Mavilia, director of the Abingdon Square Painters, initiates conversations about the founding of the NYC Abingdon Square Painters and the role Danville-born artist Harriet Fitzgerald played as the organizations founder. The exhibition pays tribute, amongst many works by the Abingdon Square Painters, to director Jeanne Morrow who followed in the footsteps of Harriet Fitzgerald after the founding artist passed away. The exhibition also features the work of director Peggy Anderson and present director Anthony Mavilia, outlining a legacy of cultural exchange between Danville, VA and New York City while also illuminating the collections of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History. 
For Information about this exhibition, please contact Annie Chappell, DMFAH Collections Manager, at annie@danvillemuseum.org or 434.793.5644. 

Exhibition Timeline: November 15, 2021- January 8, 2022 

Exhibition Location: Windows at 501 Main Street, Danville, VA 

Harriet Fitzgerald [1904-1984], a Danville native, distinguished herself as an artist, exhibitor, and a much sought-after lecturer. 

Born in 1904, she attended Stratford Hall in Danville and went on to graduate from Randolph Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Much of her training as an artist came in two and a half years of study at The Art Students’ League of New York, principally in the class of John Sloan, and in the private classes of Maurice Stern and the cubist painter Ambrose Webster. This formal training was supplemented by a period of independent study in Europe during which Fitzgerald studied the major art galleries there. 

She held numerous one-woman exhibitions at the Charles Barzansky Gallery in New York, as well as several other institutions, including Randolph Macon Woman’s College, Randolph Macon College, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Asheville Museum of Art, and the Birmingham public library, among others. Her final exhibition was in Danville, VA.  

Fitzgerald was founder and director of the Abingdon Square Painters from 1948 until her death in 1984, a position which led her to being in great demand by colleges throughout the country. From 1955-1964 and from 1967-1969, she served as a lecturer for the Arts Program Association of American Colleges; in the late 1940’s, early 1950’s, and early 1960’s she was involved with the lecture program of the Virginia Area University Center; and since 1957 Harriet Fitzgerald was a visiting lecturer at Stratford College and a member of the faculty without rank. 
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce | www.dpchamber.org
(T) 434.836.6990 | (F) 434.836.6955
150 Slayton Avenue | Danville, VA 24540