The University of Montevallo held a grand opening and dedication for Allison and Michael Stephens Hall on campus Nov. 18. The new facility houses the Michael E. Stephens College of Business, named for its most generous alumni benefactor.
Following a ribbon cutting ceremony, Allison Stephens, widow of Michael E. Stephens, addressed the gathering in the lobby of the new facility. She reflected on the characteristics of her late husband, saying, “He was tough, successful, intelligent, yet gentle and kind.”
After attending UM for a time, Michael Stephens left school and pursued other interests. After a diving accident, he changed his career path and returned to the University of Montevallo to graduate in 1973. He went on to eventually form the Lakeshore Foundation, known internationally for its work in physical therapy and rehabilitation and as an Olympic and Paralympic Training Site.
Allison related that much of Michael’s philanthropy was inspired by a poem, “The Bridge Builder” by Will Allen Dromgoole, in which a man struggles to make it where he is going, but when he gets there, he turns around and builds a bridge behind him so that those who come after him may have an easier path. She said that his support of others was often not only financial but also in practical ways.
After her remarks, Jay Houser, a senior business management student in the Stephens College of Business, presented Allison with a brick paver inscribed with the name of the college, the Stephens’ names and the date of the dedication.
Dr. Amiee Mellon, interim dean of the Stephens College of Business, expressed gratitude to Michael and Allison Stephens and reviewed the success of the college during the recent pandemic. She also recognized a number of additional donors to the college.