The promise was in a letter signed in 1999: the first baby born in the new millennium inside St. Mary’s Hospital gets a free ride at what was then Central Maine Technical College. It was a mutual public relations move for the hospital and CMCC by a hospital board member.
“I said, ‘that’s going to be a really good news story some day, but that’s going to be 20 years from now and I won’t be around to see it and that’s too bad.’” said CMCC president Scott Knapp, “I thought there was a good probability that whomever actually got that scholarship would forgot about it would forget it or they decided they wanted to do something totally different with their lives.”
The truth is a bit of both. Emilyann Drumm was born Jan. 3, 2000. After graduating high school in Paris, Maine, she started as a major in dance at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. But after a semester she decided it wasn’t a good fit.
“I was going to stay for the full year,” Drumm said, “And I switched to secondary education—history teacher.”
Drumm dug into her own past: a box of mementos.
“And I just came across a few newspaper clippings. There was one—I believe it was me, my mom, my dad and my sister all in the hospital talking about how I was the new baby born at St. Mary’s in the new millennium,” Drumm said.
And thinking about the debt she racked up at SRU she remembered her parents.
“I really just always remember them being like, ‘you have this scholarship. Think about using it.’”
And now she is—and hopes to eventually become a teacher.