Commencement Speaker Pays off Graduates’ Student Debt

Watch billionaire Robert F. Smith tell Morehouse College graduates he is paying off their student debt during his commencement speech. 🎓đŸ˜Č

Billionaire Promises to Relieve $40 million in Student Debt

A billionaire technology investor and philanthropist reveal to an eager graduation crowd his family is inspiring and changing the world through education and providing grants to wipe out the student debt of the entire 2019 class at Morehouse College. Robert F. Smith made the announcement Sunday morning in front of nearly 400 graduating seniors, eliciting the biggest cheers of the morning.

Robert F. Smith promised the 2019 class of Morehouse College — a historically black school — that they can start their enterpreneuships debt free. Smith will be relieving an estimated $40 million of student debt. An estimated 86.8% of black students take out federal loans to attend college — compared to 59.9% of white students according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“True wealth comes from contributing to the liberation of people, and the liberation of communities we come from depends upon the grit and the determination and the greatness inside of you.” “Using your skills and your knowledge and your instincts to serve to change the world in only the way that you can. You great Morehouse men are bound, again, only by your limits of your own convictions and creativity. You have the power within to be great, be you, be unstoppable, be undeniable and accomplish things that people thought you never would. I’m counting on you to load up your bus and share that journey.”

Morehouse College is an all-male historically black college located in Atlanta. Smith is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests in software, data, and technology-driven companies. During his commencement speech, Smith referenced Martin Luther King Jr. and spoke of a 21st century tech-based economy being a "Fourth Industrial Revolution." towards solutions for the future.

Smith received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse during the ceremony. He had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school.