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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.”

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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.

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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.


Billionaire Robert F. Smith Pledges To Pay Off Student Loan Debt Of Morehouse’s Entire Graduating Class of 2019  was originally published on

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