July 2nd, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. (July 1, 2024) – Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks has been selected by Virginia Business magazine as a 2024 Women in Leadership Awards winner.

Chosen by the editors of Virginia Business from more than 250 reader-submitted nominees, and published in the July 2024 issue, this fourth annual awards program recognizes 38 women leaders holding C-suite or equivalent positions who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievements, including breaking glass ceilings, mentoring others, engaging in civic work and sharing their leadership skills through service on nonprofit and company boards.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized for this esteemed award along with so many accomplished peers. Any recognition of me is a testament to all the devoted and talented board members, faculty and staff with whom I’m privileged to serve alongside,” said Franks. “I value Virginia Business’ dedication to recognizing and championing the significant contributions of women in numerous businesses and industries throughout our Commonwealth.”

Franks has served Averett for 16 years – a tenure that’s quite the exception to the average 5.9-year tenure of university presidents. Over this time, Franks has led the University through a great deal of expansion and change, including everything from renovated facilities and new capital projects, to a plethora of new academic programs, fundraising campaigns, strategic plans and record-breaking enrollment numbers.

“Hometown University” is how she proudly refers to the institution – and it has caught on. Franks’ effect on Averett and the larger community is highlighted by her focus on community engagement and volunteerism, which continue to be central to the Averett experience. Through ample community partnerships and engaged learning opportunities, Averett students are making lasting improvements throughout this region – all while making a meaningful impact in their lives and in their career development. Averett’s footprint and visibility has also expanded significantly and the University’s visibility across the Commonwealth and beyond has seen an incredible trajectory.

In 2022, Credo, a comprehensive higher education consulting firm that specializes in working with independent colleges and universities, named Franks the recipient of the 2022 Courageous Leadership Award. Awarded each year to a higher education president who embodies courage in leadership, they explained why she was selected: “Dr. Tiffany Franks’ collaborative spirit, unapologetic bravery, and living commitment to students, learning and her community, all arose as differentiators, making her the clear choice for this year’s selection.”

“Virginia Business is proud to once again honor this diverse group of innovative and talented executives who help make Virginia the nation’s top state for business,” said Bernie Niemeier, chairman and CEO of Virginia Business Media and publisher of Virginia Business magazine.

To read her full profile, click here.