Robert Smith gave the keynote commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta on Sunday and announced that his family is creating a grant to eliminate the class of 2019's student loans, according to AJC.
Then, just as the ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta was almost over, Mr Smith announced that he would give them something else, too. Smith is the chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a technology and software investment firm with more than $46 billion in cumulative capital commitments. This is my class - 2019.
In case you missed it, the historically Black college for men awarded Smith with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree for being a trailblazer in business.
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"On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we're going to put a little fuel in your bus". Sunday's announcement came amid growing calls to address the crushing burden of student loan debt in the USA, which has more than doubled in the past decade. Estimates of the value of the gift have varied, with some reports putting in the $10 million range while others have said as much as $40 million. He was going to pay off all their student loans. "I want my class to look at these [alumni] - these lovely Morehouse brothers - and let's make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward because we are enough to take care of our own community".
"Watch and learn from positive role models, and believe that, they too, are entitled to the American Dream". "I don't have to live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches".
Morehouse College president David A. Thomas said the gift would have a profound effect on the students' futures.