Billionaire philanthropist Robert F. Smith, declaring that the Class of 2019 was “my class,” did the unthinkable at the Morehouse College commencement ceremony Sunday. He pledged to pay back the student loans of the entire graduating class, estimated at around $40 million.
Smith’s generosity is a game-changer for my Morehouse brothers. Not only is he taking pressure off of multiple generations of families, this also will be the largest donation made to a historically black college from a living donor.
Graduates, fellow students, family and friends could hardly believe what we were hearing. Tears of joy and wild cheering followed shock and disbelief when Smith announced that his family plans to create a grant to cover student loan debt.
The collective sigh of relief could be felt across the Atlanta University Center as nearly 400 new Morehouse men learned what it feels like to walk away from college with a degree in hand and no student loan debt.
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