Home News National News Morehouse Commencement Speaker to Pay Off Class of 2019’s Student Loans

Morehouse Commencement Speaker to Pay Off Class of 2019’s Student Loans

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Robert F. Smith at the Morehouse College commencement on May 19 (Photo: Morehouse College)

Robert F. Smith, a billionaire technology investor and philanthropist, received an honorary doctorate at the Sunday graduation exercises for Morehouse College in Atlanta. During the commencement speech, he made the shocking announcement that his family is providing grants to wipe out the student debt of the entire 2019 class at Morehouse College.

Smith is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests in software, data, and technology-driven companies. He spoke to the nearly 400 graduating seniors of Morehouse.

“Let’s make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward, because we are enough to take care of our own community,” he told the class. “We are enough to ensure we have all of the opportunities of the American dream, and we will show it to each other through our actions and through our words and through our deeds.”

Smith had already pledged a $1.5 million gift to Morehouse College, an all-male historically black college.