Sarah Cates

Sarah Cates

Vice President for Imagination, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships

Office of the President, Pathway 5: Storytelling That Inspires the World

M.Ed., Belmont University; B.B.A., Belmont University

Location: Freeman Hall



As Vice President for Special Projects and Strategic Partnerships, Sarah Cates works closely with the President and Senior Leadership team to identify high-impact opportunities that set the university apart and serve students in unique ways while bringing the institution local, national and global brand attention. In this role she articulates Belmont’s vision, mission and values with internal and external stakeholders; proactively identifies growth areas and partnerships; and serves as an external representative of the President as needed locally and beyond, among other responsibilities. Cates draws on her extensive relationships in the music industry and the arts to cultivate relationships that can help highlight Belmont’s commitment to beauty as well as goodness and truth.

In her previous roles at Belmont, Cates’ impact was felt in a number of areas as highlighted accomplishments included playing a key role in the We Believe campaign raising philanthropic support for the University and delivering high impact events that connected Belmont more deeply to the community, particularly the music industry. Prior to her work in Development, Cates worked within the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business since its inception in 2003, most recently as senior director overseeing all elements of external relationships, student enrichment, extension programs and partnerships.

Beyond her work on campus, Cates is an active volunteer in Nashville, giving her time to numerous nonprofit organizations. She currently serves as chair of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Board and is a Board member of The Store. A Leadership Music graduate, she was recognized three-times in the Nashville Business Journal’s Women in Music City coverage and is a winner of Belmont’s Herbert C. Gabhart Award, the highest campus recognition of staff excellence. Cates received a B.B.A in Music Business and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Communication, both from Belmont.