Averett University 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.

Denise LaSalle Lindsey, Taylor Hayden Dillow and Stephen Jeremiah Wall, all from Halifax County, earned degrees from Averett.

Averett will be combining its spring graduation traditions with its Winter Commencement exercises at 10 a.m. on Saturday, 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 2020 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, 2020, and will receive their diplomas in the mail. The University shared a special video tribute on Saturday morning 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 Dr. 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.”

Major university graduation award winners from the class of 2020 include:

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

Averett is making plans to re-open 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. The University is working diligently on a range of scenarios, all of which will be guided by public health guidelines concerning the COVID-19 virus, including restrictions pertaining to classroom and housing configurations; extra-curricular activities and event sizes; dining options; travel; community engagement, etc.

“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,” said Franks.