Butterfield Resident Celebrates 108th Birthday

Irma Boyer is Longtime UA Supporter and Former Educator

 The community came out to celebrate when Butterfield resident Irma Boyer turned 108.

Boyer, who was a teacher with Fayetteville Public Schools, celebrated with a birthday party at the BTV Health Care Center on Nov. 23. Her daughter, Jane Shipley, helped organize the party, which was attended by family, friends and former students.

Boyer was an educator in the ‘30s when she taught school in small towns in Arkansas. In the 1950s, she and another teacher founded and taught in a private kindergarten in Pine Bluff.

Education has always been important to Boyer, who is Butterfield’s oldest resident. She graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, and went on to earn a master’s degree in education in 1960.

Boyer became certified to teach with Fayetteville Public Schools. She taught first grade at Washington Elementary School for several years, while continuing her studies. Later, she became a reading teacher for other schools in the area as well as an educational specialist for the Northwest Arkansas region. She retired from the Fayetteville school system in 1976.

Boyer has strong ties to the University of Arkansas. In fact, the UA recognized her in November as possibly the oldest living donor to support Campaign Arkansas, its $1.25 billion capital campaign advancing academic opportunity.

At the UA, Boyer is counted as a “Thoroughred” donor for her 27 consecutive years of giving, and is a member of the Chancellor’s Society. She enjoys supporting the Paul and Irma Boyer Scholarship in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, where her husband, the late William P. Boyer, was associated.

“I give to the University of Arkansas because I want to help students who otherwise might not be able to attend,” Boyer said.    

In addition to her annual giving, Boyer maintains a life membership with the Arkansas Alumni Association.

Shipley, Boyer’s daughter, is also a UA graduate who was inspired by her mother’s teaching career. Shipley is also retired from Fayetteville Public Schools.

Information for this article was provided by Jennifer Elaine Holland at University Relations.