Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business Administrative Assistant Kellie Meeks received the honor of the 2021 Gabhart Award. The award, named in honor of the late Dr. Herbert C. Gabhart who served at Belmont as president and chancellor for five decades, is the highest honor for a staff person to receive. In order to be selected for the award the nominee must exemplify significant achievements and commitment to the University.
Nominated by fellow colleagues and announced winner at the 2021 staff Christmas brunch, it came as a shock to no one that Meeks earned the title. With more than 20 years of service to Belmont, working in several roles and dedicating countless hours to helping students and faculty alike, Meeks’s dedication to the University is unparalleled. “When I first walked into Belmont so many years ago I knew that this was home,” she said.
As an administrative assistant to the dean of the Curb College, Meeks has the opportunity to interact with faculty, students and prospective students daily. “My favorite part of my job is getting to know the students that come in,” Meeks said. “Just having a conversation with them, getting to know who they are and what they like. I enjoy helping people and being there when someone needs something.”
From her twenty plus years of working at Belmont, one of her fondest memories was with Dr. Gabhart himself. “There was a tornado warning and a whole bunch of us had to go into a stairwell to seek shelter,” said Meeks. “We were all a little scared and nervous, I remember Dr. Gabhart telling a story. The story itself was silly, but I looked around and all eyes were glued onto him. I just thought ‘This is a moment I need to remember.’”
Having been able to work with Dr. Gabhart reminds Meeks of just how special this award is. “It’s a very humbling experience. It’s such an honor to think that the people that I work with think that I have any of what Dr. Gabhart had,” said Meeks, tearfully. “He was just an incredible man and I could never equal up to him, but the thought that anyone thinks I have a little bit of that, I’m just very very honored.”