The graduating class at Morehouse College on Sunday walked away with their diplomas — and zero debt — thanks to a billionaire tech investor.
Robert F. Smith, who picked up his honorary doctorate from the all-male, historically black Atlanta college on Sunday, announced his family was wiping out the student debt for the entire class of nearly 400 seniors, according to 11Alive News.
“My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans,” Smith said during his keynote speech. “You great Morehouse men are bound only by the limits of your own conviction and creativity.”
Smith, the founder of Vista Equity Partners and the largest private donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, also holds degrees from Cornell University and Columbia Business School.
“When Dr. King said that the ‘arc of the moral universe bends toward justice,’ he wasn’t saying it bends on its own accord,” Smith said. “It bends because we choose to put our shoulders into it together and push.”
The donation is expected to total about $40 million, or about $100,000 per senior, according to 11Alive.
More than 90% of Morehouse students use scholarships, loans, grants or work-study to help pay for their education, according to the school website.
Tuition for students taking between 12 and 18 credits pay about $14,000 in tuition per semester, which doesn’t include room and board, books or a meal plan, along with other additional fees.
Also at the ceremony, actress Angela Bassett and psychologist Edmund Gordon received honorary degrees from Morehouse.
Original Article: Daily News