The moms behind the seats

Name a Seat in the University Center for the Arts

Colorado State University Rams love their moms. These inspirational women are all unique – some raised Rams from birth, others came into their lives later in life and inspiring their Rams to pursue their dreams.

In celebration of the women who changed their lives, these Rams named a seat in the University Center for the Arts after their mothers.

“I chose to Name a Seat after my mother. She passed away 7 years ago at the age of 89, and I wanted to do something to show my appreciation to her for her tireless and immeasurable affection toward me.

According to my family, when I was 3 years old, I started asking parents to buy a violin. That was nearly 65 years ago. It was not easy to buy a tiny size of violin to suit my 3-year-old body. Mother consulted a violin teacher and decided to wait to see if I would not give up on this idea. But I did not change my mind and eventually my parents were able to track one down, buying a tiny violin that was 1/16 the size of a normal instrument.

My mother was the best supporter while very strict and tough in practice, but her persistent guidance led me to win many regional championships. She was also the one who, through music, introduced me to this wonderful world of creativity and enjoyment. Music has been a mainstay in my daily life ever since.

When I play music on my violin, I can create my own world. While I was at CSU as a graduate student, I used music as an outlet when I joined an international music group composed of foreign exchange students. Studying at CSU was fun, but tough as a foreign student. When I felt the intense pressure from my coursework and   felt I had nowhere to go, the practice room at the music department gave me the time to relax and “re-set” my thinking.”

— Susumu Harada (M.S. Economics ’81)

Closeup of a violin

“Barbara Lueck was a music teacher for more than thirty-nine years. Sixteen of those years were spent as the choir director at Rocky Mountain High School. Her students called her ‘Mama Lu.’

When we heard that Mama Lu was diagnosed with cancer, some of our fellow RMHS choir alumni orchestrated a sing-a-long, incorporating singers from across the country. Alumni were invited to participate in a performance of “Seasons of Love,” one of Mama Lu’s favorite songs, and those unable to join sent in videos sharing their love and encouragement. Mama Lu was too sick to attend the performance, but it was recorded and gifted to her while her reaction was recorded. The video and Mama Lu’s story went viral and it was picked up by Good Morning America and the Today Show.

I named the seat along with my fellow RHMS choir alumni Kevin, Ryan, and Jeff. We all fell in love with music, in large part, thanks to Mama Lu. She was the person who taught me what an individual’s love and appreciation for music can mean throughout their lifespan, something that I apply in my work as a Social Worker at a retirement community. I continued to pursue my passion for music while at Colorado State University and we all knew that this would be the perfect way to connect Mama Lu’s legacy to music for years to come.

Music continues to touch my life every day and the four of us remained involved with it long after graduating RMHS. We all have ties to Colorado State University and have been engaged with the northern Colorado music community over the years. When attending CSU, I continued to sing in the choir and had several voice lessons with her husband, John, who worked in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

Mama Lu passed away in March 2019, but the legacy that she left behind through her students is profound. We felt that Naming a Seat after her was a way to and honor the impact that she made on all of us.”

— Jill Homann (’04 B.A. Social Work, ’08 M.S.W.)

This Mother’s Day, honor your mom and name a seat after her in the University Center for the Arts. Name a Seat today online at