The Student News Site of Averett University

The Chanticleer

The Student News Site of Averett University

The Chanticleer

The Student News Site of Averett University

The Chanticleer

A Blast to the Past: All About the Averett Quiz


Averett has gone through several changes and ventures throughout the years, from the switch to a co-ed four-year institution to the development of Averett’s motto “One Team. One Family. One Averett.” However, some of these ventures, such as the Averett Quiz have not stuck around.

In a presentation on March 25, 2024, Averett University’s Archivist and Reference Librarian Dr. Jeremy Groskopf gave a rundown of Averett’s previous gameshow the Averett Quiz.

“It’s a TV show, even though all we have is audio at this point,” Groskopf said. “It’s actually filmed for television. Here is a major flashpoint change in local TV culture.”

The Averett Quiz was a typical 1970s-style gameshow developed by Averett University’s admissions office between 1971 and 1973. Hosted by Averett’s Director of Admissions of the time Watson Mills, the admissions office believed a publicly broadcast gameshow would help boost enrollment. The gameshow consisted of high school students who competed for potential scholarship money to the university. The Averett Quiz was broadcast by Danville Virginia’s first cable TV station, the Danville Cable Vision. Further, there was a total of two seasons of the show which surrounded high school student’s academic abilities.

Even though Averett was a relatively small community, the gameshow was able to reach an impressive audience.

“We were on Danville Cable Vision. The only people who could see it on TV are in town,” Groskopf said. “But in terms of its reach on radio, it’s pretty big. We have eight different stations that carry it from Danville, Martinsville, Gretna, Chase City, Reidsville, South Boston, and Lynchburg.”

The goal of this game show was to depict Averett as an inclusive co-ed college. Despite this attempt, a major factor in the failure of the Averett Quiz has to do with flaws in accurate branding.

“We had a contestant body of  120 participants here, 60 each year of that. Split 52 guys and 61 women. Of the 30 people I can see, we’ve got four that are non-white, so 13 percent (non-white individuals showcased on the show),” Groskopf said. “This was not what the Averett student body was like at the time. We were not anywhere near 50, 50 (men and women). We didn’t have this much integration penetration, even though it wasn’t zero. But it was a laudable and valuable thing to say about yourself, in terms of trying to brand who you are.”

Further, the Averett Quiz seemed to suffer because of an apparent disparity between boys and girls on the show.

“52 guys and 61 girls. If anything, guys have a slightly lower chance of making it,” Groskopf said. “On the semi-finals, it was an absolute blowout. 22 guys and nine girls. If you think that was an accident, no, by the time we get to the finals there are none (girls) left. It’s all boys.”

While this gameshow was ultimately unsuccessful, Groskopf suggests that it showcases how the Averett Community has not been afraid to take risks throughout the years.

“It’s a real cautionary tale,” Groskopf said. “It provides us a nice vivid example of people with fresh thinking and new ideas, really trying to push the envelope and come up with ways to change things and make things better in a difficult environment. But at the same time, things are more complicated than you might initially expect.”




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About the Contributor
Cliresa Hall
Cliresa is a rising senior who is majoring in communication studies. She hopes to work in the journalism field one day. Some of her hobbies include watching movies and spending time with friends.