Student Loans Paid Off by Commencement Speaker

Student Loans Paid Off by Commencement Speaker

Charles Hericks

Most college graduates have the burned of paying off thousands of dollars in student loans but all the graduating class of Morehouse college this year will not have this problem.

This Sunday at the Morehouse commencement speech the billionaire investor Robert F. Smith announced that he would be paying off all the students debt.

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we’re going to put a little fuel in your bus,” Smith said to all the graduates.

The students’ benefactor also received an honorary degree Sunday, along with actor Angela Bassett and psychologist Edmund Gordon.

Robert F. Smith is the founder of the investment firm Vista Equity Partners, he is worth an estimated $5 billion, according to Forbes, which makes him the richest black person in America.

Robert F. Smith was a chemical engineer for Goodyear and Kraft before attending business school. He worked for Goldman Sachs, specializing in technology investments, before starting Vista Equity in 2000.

Smith has quite the generous streak. In 2016 at Cornell University, one of his alma maters, renamed its chemical and biomolecular engineering school in honor of the after he committed to donating $50 million to the school. He’s also donated millions to cancer research and the arts.

In 2017, Smith signed the Giving Pledge, an effort spearheaded by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to convince wealthy Americans to give away half of their fortunes.

Lakewood’s Harlan Hogener said, “I wish I could have my college paid for because it cost so much money to go to college.”