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Earlier this month, the graduates of the historic Wiley College were given a pleasant surprise. 

More than 100 students in the 2022 graduating class won’t have to worry about paying their final balances to the Texas-based HBCU after an anonymous donor paid off their dues to the College. 

In a statement on the school’s website, the renowned College that was founded in 1873 and was the subject of the 2007 hit movie The Great Debaters starring Denzel Washington, outlined the contributions of the anonymous donor. 

“The estimated total for balances owed to the College by the graduating class of 2022 is $300,000.00. The anonymous gift sets graduates on a continued path to success and allows Wiley College to strengthen its commitment to providing an affordable exceptional education,” according to the Statement. “As Wiley College closes the academic semester and prepares for its Sesquicentennial Celebrations beginning in July, this is a great way to end the semester and start the celebration of 150 years of the College’s contributions to the world.”

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The President of Wiley College, Herman J. Felton, Jr., J.D., Ph.D., spoke about the impact that the donation would have on the students and how the institution has been working diligently to obtain donors that can make the lives of their students easier. 

“Our commitment to our students goes beyond their time while they are enrolled. We are constantly communicating with donors to assist students in these ways so that they can begin their after-college experience with less debt,” said Felton Jr. “We are grateful for this anonymous donor who will assist the students in paying off their balances to Wiley College and help us achieve institutional goals of graduating our students with little to no debt.” 

The gift from this anonymous donor could have a significant impact on the lives of these new graduates. 

While HBCUs undoubtedly do a great job of preparing young Black people for the next step in their lives, Black students coming out of college still face higher unemployment rates and more debt on average than their white peers. 

Taking one more burden off their plate could go a long way in freeing up these students at Wiley College to have more economic independence moving forward. 

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