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Redbird legacy: Scholarship sparks long line of Redbirds

Myatt family poses

Three generations of Redbirds started with Nancy (Daley) Myatt ’58.

Nancy (Daley) Myatt ’58 lived on a Central Illinois farm while in high school. She finished at the top of her class with dreams of teaching, but lacked the dollars to pursue a degree.

Her future changed with notification of a scholarship to attend Illinois State. Chosen by an area legislator for the award, she eagerly prepared to teach English and speech. She worked for faculty and at The Cage to help cover costs.

“I didn’t think I would go to college, so I really enjoyed ISU,” said Nancy, who was offered a job following a student teaching assignment in Peoria. She taught high school two years before marrying Jack and starting their family of three: Michael, Michelle and Maureen.

Michelle (Myatt) McClain ’83 chose Illinois State as well, enrolling as a biology major. An athlete in high school, she was such a talented walk-on to the track team that she lettered in the sport until a leg injury made it impossible to continue competing. Now a physical therapist at Decatur Memorial Hospital, Michelle lives in Findlay with her husband, Rod.

Their daughter, Amanda, continues the family legacy this fall as a freshman. Valedictorian of her Okaw Valley high school class, she is still contemplating her major.

Amanda will attend on a track scholarship. Although several colleges expressed interest, her decision to attend ISU was made easier by the strong family connection. She also was impressed by Athletics’ facilities, the coaches and her teammates.

Nancy and Michelle are pleased with Amanda’s decision. Not only will they be close enough to cheer her on, but she further cements ties to their alma mater.

“It is so nice to have the common ground of the same school,” said Nancy, who is now retired along with Jack. They reside in Decatur and look forward to frequent campus visits.

“I am very interested in getting back to campus,” Nancy said. “I’ll enjoy the chance to mosey around and see all that has changed.”

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