Local comedian supports UWF theatre in honor of alumnus son
The University of West Florida Department of Theatre recently received a $25,000 check from Pensacola comedian James Terryl "T. Bubba" Bechtol in honor of his son Robert Clayton "Carter" Bechtol, who graduated from the UWF theatre program in 1998. The check presentation was held on Feb. 16 at the Center for Fine & Performing Arts on the opening night of UWF’s spring musical “The Music Man.”
The University of West Florida Department of Theatre recently received a $25,000 check from Pensacola comedian James Terryl “T. Bubba” Bechtol in honor of his son Robert Clayton “Carter” Bechtol, who graduated from the UWF theatre program in 1998. The check presentation was held on Feb. 16 at the Center for Fine & Performing Arts on the opening night of UWF’s spring musical “The Music Man.”
The donation will establish an endowed scholarship for the Department of Theatre and will provide scholarships for juniors and seniors in the department. This is T. Bubba Bechtol’s second donation to the University; in 2015, his first gift of $25,000 set up a scholarship for women’s basketball. T. Bubba Bechtol supports higher education because of the opportunity he received after a college sports injury.
T. Bubba Bechtol, 2014 and 2015 Inspirational Country Music Association’s Comedian of the Year, serves as President of the Board at the Pensacola Little Theatre. As a comedian on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, he toured the world in support of his five comedy albums.
“I spent 30 years of my life in the performing arts. Carter had a great run as well, and we are both theatre people,” T. Bubba Bechtol said. “I hope that any student that gets assistance from this scholarship will know that someone like me or my son wanted to help them graduate and find a way to the stars.”
After graduating from UWF in 1998, Carter Bechtol went on to make six Hollywood movies before returning home. Now, T. Bubba Bechtol hopes to get him involved with his alma mater and other local theatre companies.
“UWF really helped me find the spark. I found it in the arts, in theatre, and that’s when the passion of what I wanted to do came to life. That was able to happen at UWF,” Carter Bechtol said. “So many people leave to go find themselves. The whole time, what I was looking for was right where I grew up.”
For more information about the UWF Department of Theatre, visit uwf.edu/theatre.