Billionaire Robert F. Smith said he will pay off the student debt for all graduates in Morehouse College’s class of 2019.
Smith made the announcement Sunday as he gave the commencement address at the historically black men’s college in Atlanta.
“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,” Smith told the new graduates. “This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”
Smith, who also received an honorary doctorate on Sunday, is a co-founder of the investment firm Vista Equity Partners and had already pledged $1.5 million to the college, according to the Associated Press. He pledged to eliminate Morehouse Class of 2019’s student debt without even knowing how much it would cost.
During his remarks, Smith spoke about how technology has changed the economy. He added it was important for African Americans to “acquire the tech skills and be the beneficiaries in sectors that are being automated.”