During his commencement speech at Morehouse College businessman Robert F. Smith gave the graduating class more than words of wisdom. Smith has promised the class of 2019 that he will pay all of their student loan debt.
“My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans!” he announced at the graduation ceremony.
The Washington Times reported that Smith will be paying the debt of 400 graduating seniors. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate during the ceremony this morning. Besides paying the hefty bill for 400 students, he also gifted the all-male HBCU with $1.5 million. Smith, who is one of the 13 black billionaires in the world, will be taking care of $40 million in student loans.
Smith is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, which is a software and technology investment firm. He is also the founding director and the president of the Fund II Foundation which “preserves the African American experience, safeguards human rights, provides music education, preserves the environment while promoting the benefits of the outdoors and sustains critical American values.” Smith is also the chairman of Carnegie Hall and is the namesake of Cornell University’s Robert Fredrick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In 2017, he made the largest donation by an individual donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.