LeTourneau Built
Miriam Lancaster '67


By Kate Gronewald

MIRIAM LANCASTER of Longview, Texas, is a retired school teacher who was among the first women students at LeTourneau when she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 1967, before the school had an accredited teacher certification program. Through her many years as a school teacher in East Texas, Lancaster has made an impact on hundreds of lives.

 “I never forgot the lessons modeled and live by incredible professors as history, English, business, and even mathematics came alive with creativity, passion and caring,” she said.

Notable LeTourneau professors who made a profound impact on Miriam Lancaster’s education include the late Dr. Robert Selby, for whom the university annually awards to a selected faculty member the coveted Robert Selby Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“Dr. Robert Selby’s American History lectures and stories about the Civil War engaged the students, and we begged for more,” she said.  She specifically remembered that Selby sponsored a long weekend trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he grew up, so the class could better understand that tumultuous time and place.

“We were immersed in the ambiance and flavors of the Antebellum South,” she said.  “Drinking in the history, strolling along the streets, traveling through the Civil War Battlefield, listening to an incredible guide singing ‘Tenting Tonight’ and ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.' We not only grew in wisdom but understood history.”

Lancaster said a mock trial in one of her business law classes made a long-remembered impact on her.

“There were four lawyers selected by the class.  We built our defenses, drafted other students to be witnesses, and presented the case one evening on the stage in what is now the Science Building.  I left ‘court’ thinking I had just participated in a Perry Mason trial.”