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Billionaire pays off the debts off an entire college class


400 students at Morehouse College had an even bigger reason to celebrate during their graduation ceremony.

When students from Morehouse College in Atlanta attended their graduation ceremony last week there was cause for a double celebration. Listening to philanthropist and technology investor Robert F. Smith’s impassioned speech, they were told that the billionaire founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners and his family had decided to wipe out all of their debt.

In his address to the near 400-gathered graduates from Morehouse — the all-male historically black college — he shared with them not only his money, but some inspiration: “You great Morehouse men are bound only by the limits of your own conviction and creativity.”

His gesture is truly generous, but perhaps his biggest gift to the jubilant crowd was reminding them of their duty to look out for others in their community by telling the new graduates that they are his class, and “I know my class will pay this forward.

Smith, who was granted an honorary doctorate from the college during the ceremony, according to Fox 5, had already pledged $1.5 million to the school to provide for an endowment scholarship and a new park. The businessman is also the first African American to sign up for the Giving Pledge in which wealthy philanthropists give more than half their wealth to charitable causes either in their lifetime or at their death.

Read more: Eight years ago, he forgave a debt … and now that kindness has sparked a movement

Read more: 4 Ways to help when your teen has no clue what to do after graduation

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