Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

Billionaire pays off the debts off an entire college class


Morehouse College | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/27/19

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

Graduate and Father

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

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.