Billionaire commencement speaker announces he’ll pay off entire graduating class’s student debt

Billionaire commencement speaker announces he’ll pay off entire graduating class’s student debt
Robert F. Smith (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – Most commencement speakers are all talk. Not this guy,]

Robert F. Smith announced during the commencement address Sunday that his family would be providing a grant to quash nearly 400 graduating seniors’ student debt, according to reports.

“This is my class,” Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from the school during the ceremony, said, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. “And I know my class will pay this forward.”

The announcement prompted the biggest cheers of the event, the newspaper reported.

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Smith had already pledged a $1.5 million gift to the university. His intention to pay off the graduating seniors’ student debt will cost an estimated $40 million, the Journal-Constitution added.

Smith is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm that invests in numerous technology-driven businesses. His net worth is about $5 billion, according to Forbes.

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Morehouse College, located in Atlanta, is an all-male historically black college with an undergraduate enrollment of just more than 2,000 students.

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