Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Ellen C. Myers Memorial Prize, 1982
The Ellen C. Myers Memorial Prize was established in 1982 in honor of Ellen Myers, J1982, an example of great courage and mental fortitude as she pursued her degree while battling an incurable illness. The prize is to be awarded to a junior or senior who has shown character, diligence, and perseverance in achieving high scholarship standards in the face of adverse circumstances while working toward a bachelor's degree.
Ellen C. Myers was born November 1, 1958, to Robert L. and Lee Myers. She enrolled at Tufts in September 1976. Six weeks into the first semester and shortly before her eighteenth birthday she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. She returned home to the Philadelphia area for treatment and went into remission in spring 1977. That fall she returned to Tufts while receiving chemotherapy in Boston. In 1979, Tufts awarded her the Gemma Cifarelli Memorial Scholarship, seeing this as a way to recognize her remarkable effort and determination. During summer school that year she suffered a relapse and returned to Philadelphia for treatment. Her leukemia went into remission again at the end of 1979 as a result of chemotherapy that also caused several episodes of hair loss. Starting in July 1979 she had daily high fevers for almost two years, the cause of which was never found even though her physicians consulted with infectious disease specialists world-wide. Because of this and other complications she was allowed to take classes at Temple University for Tufts credit, and she never missed a class there, receiving straight As. In January 1982,she suffered a second relapse and Tufts arranged for her to receive her diploma in February while hospitalized. She graduated cum laude (had the Temple grades been accepted she would have graduated magna cum laude). She died March 26, 1982.
Ellen was very pleased by the prize she received and desired to be commemorated in a like way. In the summer of 1982, her parents established the Ellen C. Myers Memorial Prize to be awarded to students for achieving high scholarship standards in the face of adverse circumstances.
Source: BTU[Arts and Sciences/Engineering]; 100H