Meet Lele Gillespie, September’s Staff Member of the Month

Lele Gillespie

Lele Winter Gillespie, project coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts, is the Staff Council’s Staff Member of the Month for September. To help us get to know her better, she answered some questions for Inside Ole Miss. 

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss? 

Gillespie: I have been with the dean’s office of the College of Liberal Arts since 2013. 

IOM: What is your hometown? 

Gillespie: Jackson, Mississippi

IOM: Talk about your favorite Ole Miss memory.

Gillespie: A single memory that stands out is hearing U.S. Rep. John Lewis deliver the keynote address in 2006 at the dedication of a civil rights monument inspired by the efforts of James Meredith. Standing on a spot between the Lyceum and the J.D. Williams Library with hundreds of people, it was a moving and inspirational event.

My years growing up coming to UM football games with my mom and dad have to be some of my most favorite collective memories.

IOM: What do you enjoy most about your position or the department in which you work? 

Gillespie: I love walking into historic Ventress Hall; I love the people I work with, and we have a wonderful, caring team. Working here is fast-paced and no day is the same!

IOM: What do you like to do when you are not at work? 

Gillespie: I enjoy walking my dogs, spending time with my wonderful adult kids and their dogs, and working in my yard.

IOM: What is your favorite movie? 

Gillespie: Any Alfred Hitchcock movie. I love suspense. 

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition? 

Gillespie: I love hearing the band practicing on fall afternoons when I’m walking home from work. 

IOM: What is a fun fact about you?

Gillespie: I’ve worked in many political campaigns. 

IOM: If you could have lunch with anyone alive or dead/fictional or real, who would it be and why?

Gillespie: I lost my Mom this past July and I lost my Dad in December. I would so love another chance to visit with them on their amazing screen porch in Jackson, where I spent many hours listening to stories about Mississippi, the Winter and Varner families, politics, sports, etc.

IOM: What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Gillespie: Conscientious, dependable, empathetic

IOM: If you could visit one time or place in world history (past, present or future), what would it be?

Gillespie: I would love to visit my Dad’s farm in Grenada County when he was growing up in the 1930s and ’40s. 

IOM: If I could be an animal for a day, I would be ____.

Gillespie: I would be one of my dogs. They are so loved, and we have a wonderful time together.

To nominate a colleague for Staff Member of the Month, email with the name of the individual you’d like to nominate as well as why you feel that person should be recognized.