All Robert F. Smith asked for ?
Is that the graduates ‘pay back’ their good fortune…..
Robert F. Smith, the billionaire investor who founded Vista Equity Partners and became the richest black man in America, told the crowd that he and his family would pay off the entire graduating class’s student debt, freeing them to begin their next chapter, whether it was a master’s program, a position with Teach for America or an internship at Goldman Sachs, without loan payments to worry about.
The announcement came at a time of growing calls across the country to do something about the mounting burden of student loan debt, which has more than doubled in the past decade…
“We’re going to put a little fuel in your bus,” Mr. Smith, dressed in academic regalia to receive an honorary doctorate, said near the end of his address on Sunday at the school’s 135th commencement service. He turned to Morehouse alumni in attendance and abruptly issued a challenge.
It seemed to take a moment for the immensity of what he had promised to sink in. Then the place erupted, as the senior class, all male and mostly African-American, shook hands and hugged one another in glee.
“We’re all in robes, hot, the sun was beaming on us,” said Ernest Holmes, who said he had about $10,000 in loans that his parents were going to tackle. “We’re holding our papers up, trying to block the sun out of our eyes. Everyone jumped up, cheered. People were crying. It was just the most amazing thing.” Mr. Holmes said he would soon start work as a software engineer for Google in Mountain View, Calif….