Emilyann Drumm of Oxford is a freshman at Central Maine Community College in Auburn. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — As a special way to celebrate the hospital’s millennial baby, the president of Central Maine Technical College penned a letter in December 1999 giving the first baby born at St. Mary’s hospital in 2000 free tuition someday.

Last month, Emilyann Drumm of Oxford showed up with that letter and had now-Central Maine Community College doing a double take.

“Never did I actually expect that I was still going to be the president,” Scott Knapp said Wednesday. “The first question (from staff) was, ‘Did you really write that letter?’ At that time, we were Central Maine Technical College, so it was a whole different set of stationery.”

He did, and now she’s in, for free.

“Everybody I’ve encountered here has been super kind and welcoming,” said Drumm, 19. “I think it’s great.”

In 1999, Knapp sat on the board of directors for St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. He remembers board members and James Cassidy, then head of the Sisters of Charity Health System, St. Mary’s corporate parent, talking about what the year 2000 would mean for the college and the hospital.


“This was an interesting way in which the college and the hospital sort of came together,” Knapp said. “I put it in writing because I said, ‘No one’s going to remember this unless we give the person a letter.'”

He felt at the time that there was a good chance the millennial baby would actually come to the school one day.

“I still remember thinking at that time, ‘Gee whiz, this will be a great news story,'” Knapp said.

Drumm was born at St. Mary’s at 2:45 a.m. Jan. 3, 2000, to Penny and Pete. She graduated from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris in June 2018 and remembers always knowing that the college’s offer existed.

“I think it just came up at a family dinner one day,” Drumm said. “When I graduated high school, I had a different plan (other than going to CMCC). I’m sure (my parents) were bummed, but they never outwardly told me that they were because they wanted to support me.”

Drumm enrolled instead at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania to study dance but left after one semester, deciding the school wasn’t a good fit.


She transferred and started at CMCC in August as a general studies major. Her plan is to earn an associate degree here and transfer elsewhere to finish a bachelor’s degree, potentially in secondary education.

“I like teaching,” she said. “I teach dance at my studio and I’ve taught high school classes before and I like that age group because it’s an easier-to-work-with age group, I think.”

At CMCC, Drumm is still responsible for course fees and books, but the two free years of tuition is saving her $5,640.

“I’m in a decent amount of debt from just one semester at Slippery Rock, so it’s nice to have this kind of break while I’m still getting an education,” she said. “I really like it here. I like that the education is really good and my professors are all really interesting.”

Her 25-year-old sister also attends the college.

Knapp and Steven Jorgensen, president of St. Mary’s Health System, will meet Drumm on Thursday for the first time.

Any advice Knapp might have for her college career?

“I should probably come up with something besides, ‘Study hard,'” he said.

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