Myra McIlvain
Myra McIlvain of OLLI's UT-LAMP program

Myra McIlvain continues to learn and work with OLLI


“I wanted retirement to be a new challenge, an opportunity to increase my worldview and enjoy friendships with people who were stimulated by new ideas. I did not want to be spoon-fed, rather I wanted to continue using my life skills to shape and contribute to the group’s studies. Fortunately I discovered the OLLI program at LAMP that offers a vast range of lectures presented by professors and other qualified experts from the broader Austin community. Since LAMP is volunteer-run I have enjoyed helping design the programs, securing the lecturers, and accepting leadership roles. The OLLI programs have also given me the opportunity to teach Texas history seminars, a continuation of my former professional life.” – Myra McIlvain

Historian Myra McIlvain has indeed been able to continue her professional life by leading a number of Texas history seminars. During her career, she worked as a freelancer, writing articles for regional publications like Texas Highways and newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. She also wrote historical markers for the Texas Historical Commission, culminating in "Shadows on the Land: An Anthology of Texas Historical Marker Stories." After teaching for several years, Myra and her husband Stroud began taking students from her classes on tours of historical sites. Those one-day excursions grew into a full-time business with the McIlvains eventually leading tours all over the world. They retired in 2001 and have been very active in OLLI's UT LAMP™ ever since.

During the spring 2009-2010 session, Myra gave lectures to her fellow UT LAMP members on "The Texas Independence Trail," "Power Brokers and Oil," "German Immigration," "Spanish Colonial Rio Grande Valley," "East Texas Treasure - Nacagdoches, Marshall, Jefferson, Palestine and Tyler," and "Settlement in Central Texas."

Current UT LAMP Executive Committee Chair Bonnie Cahill offers, "Myra's lectures make the areas and incidents she speaks about come alive. She's a wonderful speaker. She always tells a story of someone who lived through the time or in the place that bring great dimension to her lectures. People just stack up to get in to hear her speak."

UT LAMP members discuss and explore a wide variety of subjects in such categories as history, business, art, lifestyle and science. UT LAMP also provides members with opportunities to lead meetings and manage UT LAMP’s line-up, membership and success. UT LAMP also offers social activities, receptions, and book clubs.

At UT Austin, five distinct programs make up the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI): UT SAGE™, UT QUEST™, UT FORUM™, UT NOVA™, and UT LAMP, the first OLLI progam formed on our campus. Each OLLI program consists of three, six-week sessions in the fall, winter and spring and meet at the Thompson Conference Center on the university campus.

For more information about UT LAMP or any of the OLLI programs, visit the OLLI Web site or call 512-471-3124.


Tags: ut-lamp, olli, myra mcilvain, lifelong learning,