US billionaire technology investor promises to pay off student debt for entire grad class

Last Updated: May 20 2019 18:44
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A billionaire technology investor said at a US college in Atlanta when he announced at their commencement that he would pay off their student loans, estimated at $40 million.

Robert F Smith, this year’s commencement speaker at Morehouse College, made the announcement on Sunday while addressing nearly 400 graduating seniors of the all-male historically black college, Time magazine reported.

Smith, who is black, is the Founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests in software, data, and technology-driven companies.

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we’re gonna put a little fuel in your bus,” the investor and philanthropist told graduates in his morning address.

“This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse during the ceremony, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school.

Morehouse College president David A. Thomas said the gift would have a profound effect on the students’ futures. “In some ways, it was a liberation gift for these young men that just opened up their choices.”