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Don Purdy Receives Inaugural Gabhart Award

Left to right: Don Purdy, Susan West and Dora Ann Purdy.

Belmont University recognized long-time employee Don Purdy with the first Gabhart Award for Staff Excellence and Service.

Purdy, director of Auxiliary Services, received the award Dec. 13 at the annual Staff Christmas Breakfast in Neely Dining Room. He previously worked as athletic director, men’s basketball head coach, assistant professor of physical education and assistant dean of students for the Gabhart Student Center and intramurals. Purdy will retire this month, after 33 years of service at Belmont.

He also was recognized Dec. 15 during the men’s basketball game against Troy.

Named for the University’s late Chancellor Herbert C. Gabhart, the award is the highest honor a Belmont staff member can receive in recognition of his or her exemplary commitment and service to the University as well as for achievements and contributions of a significant nature. Nominations are requested from students, faculty and staff during the fall semester, and the University Staff Advisory Council reviews the nominations and selects the finalists and overall winner.

In one nomination letter, a colleague noted, “[Don] treats everyone, from students, to the highest level administrators, to guests on campus, with the same level of courtesy and respect. Whatever the problem, question, or issue is, Don’s response invariably is, ‘I’ll take care of it.’ And then he immediately does just what he has said he will do.”

Other finalists this year were Debbie Jacobs, assistant to Dean Darrell Gwaltney in the School of Religion, and Linda Jenkins, program assistant and office manager in the College of Business Administration.