Kellie Meeks receives 2021 Gabhart Award
If you need anything in Belmont’s biggest college, you pay a visit to Kellie Meeks.
As the administrative assistant for the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, Meeks knows how to help students with just about anything, whether that’s finding directions to the cafeteria or questions about their music business classes.
Nominated by her colleagues, Meeks is the recipient of the 2021 Gabhart award, the highest honor presented to Belmont staff given annually to the person who best exemplifies university values.
And if one thing is true about Meeks, it’s that she lives and breathes Belmont.
“When I walked through the doors I knew I was home — day one. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere else,” she said, overwhelmed with emotion when she thinks of her Belmont family.
The Nashville native started at Belmont Central in 1999. She worked in the Office of the Registrar before settling into her role in the Curb College, where she was hired in 2004.
Meeks works in tandem with the dean’s assistant, Angela Breedon, to manage the offices and coordinate the schedules of Curb College Dean Doug Howard and Associate Dean Dr. Cheryl Carr. She answers the phones and is the voice that welcomes students to Curb.
Whether working with students, faculty or staff, Meeks is always there to lend a hand or a kind word to those who stop by her office.
“She is the first impression of the Curb College to a lot of people,” Breedon said. “She’s just got such a giving personality and kind of acts as mom to everybody.”
Meeks witnessed Belmont’s explosive growth during the tenure of former president Dr. Bob Fisher as Curb went from a college without its own building to the largest at the university. She watched the construction of the Johnson Center, where scattered Curb faculty relocated in 2015.
“It kind of felt like a big family reunion,” said Meeks. “I can go down the hallway and yell at faculty instead of having to walk across campus and yell at my faculty — with love.”
Meeks loves to talk, but she doesn’t like talking about herself. She finds joy in listening to her colleagues, Belmont students and future Bruins.
“Kellie serves as the face of the Curb College and the dean’s office; she daily displays the call to ‘love God, love neighbor;’ she embraces our students, faculty, staff and campus visitors; she is willing to wear many hats to make sure things get done; and she somehow puts up with me,” Howard told the Vision in an email.
“In other words, she consistently goes beyond the call of duty and we are all blessed to have her in our lives.”
PHOTO: Kellie Meeks in her office in the Johnson Center. Sarah Maninger / Belmont Vision
This article was written by Sarah Maninger and Connor Daryani.