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Centenarian alumna to be honored at UMFK's annual alumni banquet

September 10, 2004

NR04180

Myrtle Hoyt, a graduate of the Madawaska Training School who recently turned 100 years old, will be honored at this year's annual alumni banquet during UMFK's "Come to Campus" Days Celebration on Saturday, September 18 at 5:00 p.m. in the University SportsCenter.

Hoyt, who participated in the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University Medical Center, says she does not know how she reached her 100th birthday, "The good Lord just left me here," she said to Emily Aronson of the Portsmouth Herald in a recent interview.

Those conducting the study say it could have a lot to do with the lifestyle that Hoyt lived. She never smoked or drank alcohol.

Hoyt, a graduate of the MTS class of 1921, was pleasantly surprised to find University of Maine at Fort Kent President Richard Cost, along with his wife Ellen, among the family and friends gathered for her 100th birthday party on June 26 in Kittery, Maine.

"One of the great joys of my job is getting to meet people whose lives were changed through their experience at this campus," said Cost. "It was a very good day and a fun visit. The whole family was there; her son, relatives and in-laws. They all had wonderful family stories to share. Myrtle is delightful, wonderfully alert and very pleasant."

President Cost became aware of Hoyt's birthday when her son, Russell Hoyt, decided to take a look at UMFK's website after hearing all of the wonderful things that his mother had to say about her alma mater over the years. Hoyt found her name on a list of missing alumni and immediately contacted the university to let officials know of his mother's whereabouts.

President Cost will speak about Hoyt at the alumni awards banquet, and Burnette Bowker, president of the alumni association will present the award to Peggy Moore, daughter of the current gold cane holder who will accept the award on behalf of Hoyt.

UMFK has traditionally presented its oldest living alumni with an actual gold cane but the University has decided to start a new tradition.

They will now be keeping the cane at the University in the alumni house and adding names to the cane as new recipients are selected. Those awarded with the honor will be given a plaque to commemorate their achievement.