Man Receives Congratulatory Telegram 50 Years After Graduating College

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The University of Michigan graduate got a chance to relive the old days.

This man is reliving the old days.

Robert Fink got an incredible surprise when he received a telegram last month. That's right — a telegram.

When Fink graduated from the University of Michigan in 1969, some family friends sent him a telegram through Western Union, The Washington Post reported. The letter read: “Sorry we cannot be there to applaud when you get your diploma but our hearts and best wishes are with you. Love Dr. and Mrs. Fischman.”

The sentimental note was sent on May 2, 1969. But Fink moved out of his apartment the day before. So he never actually received the letter.

Then in December of last year, Fink received an email from a stranger in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That stranger was Christina Zaske, who said she found a telegram inside a filing cabinet at work and that the telegram was addressed to Fink.

“Frankly, I was pretty skeptical of the email,” Fink told the Post. “I suspected there might be some kind of scam involved.”

Turns out, Zaske's company was using filing cabinets it got secondhand from the University of Michigan. At the bottom of one of those filing cabinets, she found a stack of old papers, mostly paystubs but also a yellowed note. After Googling the intended recipient, Fink, she tracked him down and sent him his long lost congratulations.

Fink told the Post the telegram was likely left at his old apartment in 1969 and was never forwarded because his landlord didn't have a new address for him. Somehow, it stayed safe at the bottom of his filing cabinet for five decades.

“The irony of it is, I’ve only received one telegram in my life and I received it 50 years after it was sent," Fink said.

Fink added that because he never received the Fischman's telegram when it was sent, he never got to thank the couple, who have since died.

Western Union ended its telegram business in 2006.