The check was in the mail and it was big.
The CU-Boulder School of Journalism and Mass Communication received a check this week for $778,778.39 from the estate of William S. Hemingway, a former copy editor at The Denver Post. The money is designated for student scholarships.
Dean Paul S. Voakes said the gift was a complete surprise and its impact on the school will be immediate.
"Mr. Hemingway's gift enables our school to become accessible to a number of highly qualified students who may have thought CU was beyond their reach financially," he said.
"This gift will immediately increase the school's ability to recruit gifted students from around the state and across the country," Voakes said.
Hemingway died in April at Denver Hospice. He was 79.
He worked at The Denver Post from 1960 to his retirement in 1991. He was assistant editor of Empire Magazine, zone editor, photo editor, assistant make-up editor and an assistant city editor, according to a funeral notice that ran in the Post in April.
The notice said he was born on March 21, 1929, in Mount Vernon, New York. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from New York University. After serving two years in the U.S. Army Public Information Office in Germany, Hemingway came to Colorado in 1955.
He worked at The Durango Herald as a reporter, photographer and news editor. From 1958 to 1960 he was managing editor of the Cortez Sentinel.
Associates at the Post said Hemingway, who favored pastel polyester suits, wore an Armani tuxedo on his last day at work in 1991, quietly put in a full day on the copy desk and then left at the end of his shift. He inherited a substantial sum of money from a relative a few years before he retired, according to a Post associate. In his retirement he traveled the world and also volunteered as an exhibit guide at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.