Morehouse College seniors got a surprise when billionaire investor Robert F. Smith announced during his commencement speech that he would pay off the student loan debt for the historically black college’s graduating class.
Robert F. Smith is the founder of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners and one of the nation’s most prominent African-American philanthropists.
Smith, who already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school, told nearly 400 Morehouse grads that he’s wiping out their student debt. The additional pledge to pay off the graduating class’ student loan debt is estimated to be $40 million
“On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we’re gonna put a little fuel in your bus. This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans,” Smith said to a cheering crowd.