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Redbird legacy: 3 generations of ISU ties

Redbird legacy family poses on Quad

The Meyer family legacy includes, from left, Aaron Cornwell; Alan and Jane Meyer; Greg and Adam Cornwell; Ryan, Tyler and Tamra McNamara; and Lynn Cornwell.

Alan Meyer ’56 has two Illinois State legacies. One is scoring 50 points in a basketball game, creating a record broken by Doug Collins ’73. The other? He is patriarch of three generations with ISU ties.

A physical education major, Alan met his wife as an undergrad. Jane Thompson ’56 also studied education. The two married in 1956. Both taught before owning Kankakee Redwood Inn. Now retired, they remain in Kankakee.

Alan and Jane had two daughters: Lynn ’80 and Tamra ’83. Both attended Illinois State, where they met their spouse.

Lynn was studying Spanish teacher education when she went to an ISU football game with her roommate, who was a cousin to the roommate of business major Greg Cornwell ’80. Lynn and Greg were dating within a few months. They married in 1981 and now reside in Naperville. He is retired from sales at Alcatel-Lucent and she is completing her last year teaching Spanish at Downers Grove South High School.

Tamra studied elementary education, yet still connected with business major Joe McNamara ’83. She teaches at Jefferson Junior High and he works for Verizon Wireless. They reside in Naperville.

Four of Alan’s five grandchildren attended ISU. Lynn and Greg are parents to Adam ’10 and Aaron ’14. Ryan ’10 and Tyler ’14 are sons to Tamra and Joe. Each set of cousins were roommates while at ISU.

Adam works for Molex and lives in Michigan. Ryan is a teacher living in Aurora. Aaron and Tyler graduated in May with degrees in marketing and accounting, respectively.

Family members are grateful for many shared moments and memories that surround ISU. “It’s a place where we each felt comfortable and yet challenged,” Greg said. ”It’s always been a perfect fit.”

 

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