Where are they now? Grace Gilmore
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Where are they now? Grace Gilmore

Grace Gilmore, a former member of the Lipscomb volleyball team, balances a day job as a commodities broker with a company that provides all the assistance a business would want in impressing guests with events. She spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com about her busy life.

What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?

"I played volleyball from 2004-2007. I was a defensive specialist/libero. My head coach was Brandon Rosenthal. Jenna Panatier was the assistant. My freshman year Margaret Davidson and Kristin Peck (Ryman) were assistants."

Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb?

“I am originally from Franklin. I wanted to go to a school in Nashville. I didn’t know any of the girls at Lipscomb. But I liked Brandon when we met. We got along well. I liked the campus. I got a good feeling about it. I felt I wanted to continue to play volleyball in college and Lipscomb presented that opportunity for me.”

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

“That would have to be when we won the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament in 2007, my senior year. It was such an incredible experience. I am really thankful I was able to be part of a program like ours during my four years there. There was so much change, not just statistically.

“My freshman year I actually remember celebrating Brandon’s 10th win. We bought him a cake. To go from a program getting its 10th win under its current head coach to winning the conference tournament was a huge feeling of accomplishment. It was the first time the program had done that. It was the first time the program had beaten Belmont.

“I didn’t play a lot, but I did play some. It wasn’t really about that necessarily. We had the exact elements we needed to make it work that year. We were able to do that. I know that is what athletics is about. It is like a chess match as much as anything else…having the right people at the right time. That is what we did.”

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

“I would say Ann Mullins. She was a year older than I was, but when she got a redshirt from Tennessee, we ended up in the same class. She played the same position as me. She had such an amazing court presence.

“I was so thankful to be able to share the court with her. She had a great court presence. She just had a great knowledge of the game. I learned so much from her.

“She was very enthusiastic. She was the start of the change in the attitude in the team. She was tough on everybody but I think that was necessary. They say iron sharpens iron. We had a lot of really strong-willed girls on the team that needed someone to push them and make them better. She was that person. She was one of the key reasons we were able to win the conference that year.”

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

“I went on a mission trip my freshman year on spring break to Honduras. That was a real neat experience. I really enjoyed the group that I went with. It was a good bonding experience. It was my first mission trip. It was good to see how another culture lives.”

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

“The biggest thing I learned was to have an acceptance for other people. I was shown ways to be more open to people. I learned how to show more graciousness towards other people.”

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

“I really liked the Bible department. I felt like they pushed the envelope. I wasn’t as aware of that as a freshman and sophomore but towards my junior and senior years I saw that the Bible department was pretty progressive and willing to challenge the students. I really liked my Bible classes.

“I was a social work major. I remember Donetta Hawkins. I really liked her a lot. I liked her attitude in class. She challenged us to step outside of the bubble of Lipscomb and see the world for what it was.”

Where do you live now?

“I live in Nashville.”

Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

“I am a commodities broker specializing in cottonseed. Brittany Thomas is on the volleyball team right now and her Dad does the same thing. I am a commodities broker in general but I trade primarily in cottonseed. It is a family business. I work with my Dad (Joe).

“I also co-founded a business with my business partner, Rio, called Nashville the Beautiful. We work with local businesses curating unique and entertaining events for the general public. We say that we connect people, because that is really what we do, be it through photography, music, art or food. We work with the events from start to finish. We even publish photos and provide coverage post event.

“We are a new company. We have been around for a year. We love partnering with businesses and working with them marketing their businesses and reaching their audiences.”

Tell us about your family.

“I am single." 

My email is nashvillethebeautiful@gmail.com.