DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — During Averett University’s in-person spring commencement ceremony next weekend, school officials say U.S. Air Force Col. Kim N. Campbell will speak to the graduates.
The outdoor ceremony –which begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8 –will be held at the university’s E. Stuart James Grant North Campus in the Frank R. Campbell Stadium in Danville.
According to Averett University, more than 200 students from both Averett Online and traditional programs will graduate this spring. Of those students, the university says approximately 170 plan to walk across the stage on May 8.
The Class of 2021 reportedly includes graduates born between 1963 and 2001; 17 veterans; and seven international students from Australia, Bahamas, Canada, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.
School officials say this ceremony will be the first commencement exercise in more than 20 years to be held outdoors for Averett University since the completion of the Grant Center, but it will still follow the appropriate health and safety protocols for graduates, families, faculty, staff, and special guests.
In order to make sure social distancing and occupancy limitations are followed, the university says each graduate can bring up to three guests. In addition, all participants and guests will need to socially distance on the field and wear proper face coverings.
As for the commencement ceremony’s distinguished speaker, Campbell is the director of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development in Colorado, which serves the academy by advancing character and leadership development as a way to prepare people to serve their country, according to Averett University.
“She is a highly decorated and distinguished command pilot who has flown combat missions in Operation Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom,” Averett University said with regard to the colonel.
Since being commissioned in 1997, school officials say Campbell has climbed the ranks and served as Squadron Commander, Operations Group Commander, Air Force Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and an instructor in the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the Air Force Academy.
The rain date for Averett University’s spring commencement is Sunday, May 9.