IMAGINE HAVING 99 PROBLEMS AFTER GRADUATING BUT YOUR STUDENT LOAN DEBT ISN’T ONE
Billionaire Robert F. Smith announced Sunday to Morehouse College’s class of 2019 he would eliminate the entire class’s student debt. Based on the combined debt shouldered by the graduating class, Mr. Smith’s gift is estimated to be worth about $40 million, making it the single largest individual donation to a historically black college or university. This isn’t Smith’s first gift to Morehouse. Earlier this year, he donated $1.5 million to fund endowed scholarships and build a park where students could study.
Mr. Smith, who has a net worth of $5 billion according to Forbes, is a founder of Vista Equity Partners. His P.E. firm manages more than $46 billion in assets from pension funds and other big institutional investors, buys major stakes exclusively in software, data, and technology companies.
He is also the founder of the Fund II Foundation, a grantmaking organization focused on preserving and deepening the understanding of African-American history, safeguarding human rights, funding education, funding environmental initiatives, and promoting entrepreneurship.
Mr. Smith told graduates he expected them to “pay it forward” and said he hoped that “every class has the same opportunity going forward.”