As we prepare to disperse for a brief break for Thanksgiving, please take a moment to enjoy the photo to the right - a look back 140 years into the past when "Averett" was the name of a family, not an institution.
In 1883, Roanoke Female College (as the college was then known) was located on Patton Street, near the current site of the Ruby B. Archie Public Library. The school was operated at the time by its two longest serving principals: brothers S.W. and J.T. Averett - the two most prominent of the many members of the Averett family for which the University is now named.
This photo was taken at some point that year, and depicts the Averett brothers (S.W. front left, with long beard; J.T. front right with short beard) on the college's front steps. With them are a group of students - perhaps the resident students, of whom there were approximately forty.
At the time, Roanoke Female College was decidedly a family affair.
With the exception of physical education and the arts (drawing, painting, and the bulk of the music courses), members of the Averett family taught nearly everything.