Robert F. Smith just gave the class of 2019 at Morehouse College a gift that many a college student could only dream of.
The billionaire, who received an honorary doctorate at Morehouse College on Sunday surprised many by announcing that his family was providing a $40 million grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire Class of 2019.
“This is my class,” he said, “and I know my class will pay this forward.”
The announcement elicited the biggest cheers of the morning.
The technology investor and philanthropist’s gift is believed to be the largest donation ever given to a historically black college & university (HBCU). He had initially donated $1.5 million to the university to help build a new park near campus and to establish more scholarships.
Smith is a chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a software and technology investment firm which he founded in 2000. He is one of the world’s thirteen African-American billionaires and his net worth is believed to be around $5 billion according to Forbes.