Columbia University scholarship for veterans to be named for Hunter S. Thompson, says wife
A scholarship for U.S. military veterans to attend Columbia University will be named for writer Hunter S. Thompson, widow Anita Thompson said in an email to reporters Saturday.
The Woody Creek-based author of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and other contemporary literary classics, who died in 2005, would have turned 79 today. He attended Columbia in 1959 after serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Military-veteran attendance at the university’s School of General Studies, Anita Thompson noted, has ballooned from 40 students in her graduating class of 2009 to 400 in 2016. An endowment has now been formed for the Hunter S. Thompson Scholarship for Veterans, which will assist veterans with tuition costs, she said.
“We believe that actions like these are among the many solutions to help veterans as they return from Iraq and Afghanistan, and also to enrich the environment of traditional Columbia students in their classrooms — to encourage wiser decisions re: policy when they enter the workforce and leadership roles,” Anita Thompson wrote.
She also said she had purchased Owl Farm — the Woody Creek property where she made a home with Hunter Thompson and where she has lived since his death — from the Gonzo Trust in June. The trust was established to manage Hunter Thompson’s estate in the wake of his death.
The author’s wife is now working to establish a museum and two-suite writer’s retreat at Owl Farm, which she said also will remain her home.
“Since Owl Farm is my private residence, I am seeking the perfect balance between privacy and honoring Hunter’s local legacy,” she wrote.