"Avery Hopwood did several times talk to me of his ardent hope that there would be a great deal of writing good writing coming out of America, and that he hoped it would have some connection with modern writing. When he was a young man which was when I first knew him he hoped to achieve this himself and later he always hoped that he still would do something himself. He had a very keen interest in the intellectual life and I imagine that was the origin of his idea of the bequest." — Gertrude Stein
"Avery Hopwood (1882-1928) was one of the most popular American playwrights of the early twentieth century, with four hits running on Broadway at the same time — two of them among the longest-running of their day: The Gold Diggers (1919-1921) and The Bat (1920-22, written with Mary Roberts Rinehart). ... Hopwood was a master of formulaic entertainment; he knew how to score a hit — and often. ... But Hopwood aspired to greater work — good fiction, 'something,' he once told a newspaper reporter, 'which an intelligent man can sit down and read and think about.'" — Jack Sharrar, in the afterword to The Great Bordello, Hopwood's "lost novel," as gathered and championed by his mother, Jule Hopwood.
"All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, I give, devise, and bequeath unto the Regents of the University of Michigan, as prizes to be known as 'The Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood Prizes,' to be awarded annually to students who perform the best creative work in the fields of dramatic writing, fictions, poetry, and the essay. In this connection, it is especially desired that the students competing for the prizes shall not be confined to academic subjects, but shall be allowed the widest possible latitude, and that the new, the unusual, and the radical shall be especially encouraged." — excerpted from Jule Hopwood's will
In March 1929, only six months after her son Avery's death in the south of France, Jule Hopwood passed away, putting both her own and her son's last will and testament into effect to establish the Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood Prizes at the University of Michigan.
"'It is especially desired that students shall not be confined to academic subjects, but shall be allowed the widest possible latitude. The new, the unusual and the radical shall be especially encouraged.' Thus the terms of the will of the late James Avery Hopwood, playwright, in leaving some $200,000 to the University of Michigan to establish the Avery and Jule Hopwood prizes for creative writing. Playwright Hopwood, a graduate of the University of Michigan, was drowned while bathing in the surf off Juan-les-Pins, France, on July 1. His total estate was valued at some $1,000,000." — Time Magazine, August 1928 (Vol. 12 Issue 6, p40).