Million-dollar gift supports transformative scholarships for journalism students

Floyd “Cy” Cress traveled the world as a writer after World War II, saved his money and retired as a millionaire to a quiet life in Deming in the mid 1980s. He valued the power and splendor of the written word so much that he donated more than $1 million beginning in 2014 to fund journalism scholarships at New Mexico State University. So far, more than two dozen NMSU journalism students are realizing their dreams thanks to him.

“This gift was very exciting for our department,” says Hwiman Chung, department head of journalism and mass communications. “We had been looking for ways to help students financially, and with this donation, school can be possible for many more journalism students.”

Cress asked that his $1 million estate gift to the university remain anonymous until after his death.

He passed away in January of 2017 at age 96, but lived to see his generosity benefit 25 students who have received the Cy Cress Excellence in Journalism scholarship.

The scholarship was created in honor of his sister, Lois Cress, who shared his passion for journalism and was an editor for the Denver Post. The awards go to NMSU journalism students at any stage of their studies based on financial need and who have at least a 3.0 grade point average. The earnings allocated from Cress’ $1 million gift will be used for journalism scholarships each year.


Floyd “Cy” Cress donated more than $1 million to New Mexico State University to establish the Cy Cress Excellence in Journalism Scholarship.