Atlanta – A billionaire, technology investor and philanthropist, says his family grants grants to pay off all student debt in 2019 at Morehouse College. Robert F. Smith made the announcement on Sunday morning to nearly 400 senior graduates, evoking the biggest cheers of the morning.
"My family will create a scholarship to eradicate your student loans," Smith said, according to a tweet of the school.
A representative from Morehouse College told CBS News that the total amount Smith is promising will donate $ 40 million. The total debt of the students is still being calculated.
Morehouse President David Thomas had "no idea" that the announcement would come.
"People were stunned If you look at another footage, you'll see the students What did he say, did he say what he said?" Thomas told CBS news correspondent Mark Strassmann. "That way, they can realize their dreams … as opposed to debt service."
Morehouse College is a purely male, historically black college in Atlanta. Smith is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests in software, data and technology-focused companies.
During his speech, Smith referred to Martin Luther King Jr., referring to a technology-based economy of the 21st century as a "fourth industrial revolution."
"When Dr. King said that the" arc of the moral universe "bows to justice," he did not say it bends by itself. It bends because we decide to squeeze our shoulders and push them, "Smith said . The technology is creating a whole new set of ramps for the economy of the 21st century, and together we are helping to assure that African Americans will acquire the technical skills and be the beneficiaries in sectors that are being automated.
Smith received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse during the ceremony, having already announced a gift of $ 1.5 million to the school.