Monday, 19 August, 2019

Billionaire pays off 400 students' university debt

Watch Billionaire Tell College Grads He Will Pay Off All $40 Million of Their Collective Student Loan Debt Billionaire Robert F. Smith Pays Student Loans of Morehouse College Graduates
Steven Clarke | 23 May, 2019, 15:01

Smith, left, laughs with David Thomas, center, and actress Angela Bassett at Morehouse College on Sunday, May 19, 2019, in Atlanta.

Robert F Smith's gift of paying off the student loans of Morehouse College's 2019 graduating class stunned the school's students and faculty, but it was just the latest act of philanthropy by the quiet United States billionaire tech investment executive who is concerned that economic opportunities for African Americans have narrowed.

In 2016, Cornell named its School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering to the "Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering" in recognition of Smith.

Reportedly, Mr. Smith surprised everyone, including the Morehouse University administration, who were not told in advance of his donation plans.

Still, the Morehouse graduate said he never pitied his mother for not being able to sufficiently provide for him or his siblings.

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She said: "She has given me a huge amount of confidence - she's daunting as anything and that sort of rubs off". Emilia said she watched videos of war leaders, including Adolf Hitler, to replicate their powerful speeches.

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

"You want to own it, you want to drive it, and you want to pick up as many people as you can along the way", Smith said. Addressing the college's class of 2019, Robert F Smith, a man who is richer than Oprah Winfrey, made a grand gesture straight out of the television mogul's playbook. "My family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans", Smith said during his speech.

Smith told the graduates he knows they will "pay it forward", and added that he hopes "every class will have the same opportunity going forward".

"Here's a great story: While we've still got a lot of work to do to make college affordable for everyone, that didn't stop Robert F. Smith from seizing an opportunity to make a difference". Outstanding students loans exceeds auto loan debt at $1.1 trillion, as well as credit card debt at $977 billion.

With the talks of student loans being over the charts in America, this couldn't have come at a better time. This affects some 44.7 million borrowers. With college costs skyrocketing, over half of all students have taken out student loans in order to pay for higher education, according to the Federal Reserve. He had served on the celebrated NY concert venue's board and was a donor, and hall officials cited his passion for music and his desire to help undeserved communities connect with the arts. In addition, HBCU students typically owe 32% more than non-HBCU students, according to the Wall Street Journal. Smith is said to be bothered by the student debt problem, and how it adversely affects African-Americans. "What a love-power move by Robert Smith".

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