A ribbon-cutting this afternoon will showcase two new buildings on the University of Montevallo’s campus, as well as a stage named for a Tony-nominated alumna.
The Allison and Michael Stephens Hall, housing the Stephens College of Business, and Center for the Arts, both of which opened in fall 2020, will be showcased at ceremonies at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively, along with the newly named Rebecca Luker Stage.
Luker, a UM graduate who earned three Tony Award nominations in an illustrious Broadway and concert career, died in December 2020 at the age of 59 after a battle with ALS. Her husband, Tony Award-winner Danny Burstein, is scheduled to speak at today’s event along with her nephew, Jacob Norse Luker.
“Montevallo is where she really blossomed, where Rebecca learned her craft and where she finally saw her future possible,” Burstein said in prepared remarks. “She sang with Placido Domingo, sang for presidents and royalty – but was sure to treat everyone the same, holding on to her Southern roots.”
Burstein added that Luker “would have loved this day.”
“She knew this is where it all began for her,” he said. “Where she learned to dream. Where she learned what it meant to be an artist. Where she learned the fortitude it took to be an artist. And I know she would want the Rebecca Luker Stage to be a place where other young people could blossom in the same, beautiful way.”
Allison Stephens was scheduled to speak at the Stephens Hall event.