Biographical or Historical Information
Sylvia Freeman Wallace McGrath was born on February 27, 1937 to George J. and Martha Cooper Wallace. She was born in Montpelier, Vermont but raised in East Lansing, Michigan. Sylvia's parents both taught at Michigan State University, where she received her bachelor's degree in 1959. Her father was a renowned ornithologist. In 1960 she received her M.A. from Radcliff and in 1966 her Ph.D.in history from the University of Wisconsin. Sylvia taught for thirty-eight years at Stephen F. Austin State University, was named Regents Professor in 1994, and served as chair of the Department of History. She passed away on September 1, 2006.
Sylvia married Tom McGrath, son of Mrs. C.B. McGrath, on June 11, 1966. They had two children Sandra Jean McGrath and Charles George McGrath. Tom McGrath was born on February 27, 1933 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Tom received his bachelor's degree from the University of Montana and his Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin in 1966. In 1969 he joined the faculty of the School of Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University where he taught forest pathology, fire, and dendrology until his retirement. In addition to being a forestry professor, Tom was a Missoula smoke jumper during most summers from 1957 - 1985. He died in 2008.