Fidelity bank card banner Emerald Energy Institute Camano banner

Billionaire stuns college graduates, to pay off their loans

By News Express on 20/05/2019

Gmail icon

Views: 360

•African-American billionaire technology investor Robert F. Smith
•African-American billionaire technology investor Robert F. Smith

An African-American billionaire technology investor Robert F. Smith stunned the entire graduating class at Morehouse College in Atlanta when he pledged to pay off their student loans.

The Associated Press estimated the loans to be up to $40 million.

Smith, this year’s commencement speaker, made the announcement while addressing nearly 400 graduating seniors of the all-male historically black college.

On Twitter, he encapsulated the reasoning for his gesture: “More than the money we make, the awards, or recognition, or titles we earn, each of us will be measured by how much we contribute to the success of the people around us,” he wrote.

Smith is the Founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests in software, data, and technology-driven companies.

“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,” the investor and philanthropist told graduates in his morning address. “This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

The announcement immediately drew stunned looks from faculty and students alike. Then the graduates broke into the biggest cheers of the morning and stood up, applauding. Morehouse said it is the single largest gift to the college.

“More than the money we make, the awards, or recognition, or titles we earn, each of us will be measured by how much we contribute to the success of the people around us,” he wrote.

Though college officials could not provide an estimate of the exact amount owed by the current graduating class, students graduate with an average debt of $30,000 to $40,000, said Terrance L. Dixon, vice president of enrolment management.

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

Smith said he expected the recipients to “pay it forward” and said he hoped that “every class has the same opportunity going forward.”

“Because we are enough to take care of our own community,” Smith said. “We are enough to ensure that we have all the opportunities of the American dream. And we will show it to each other through our actions and through our words and through our deeds.”

In the weeks before graduating from Morehouse on Sunday, 22-year-old finance major Aaron Mitchom drew up a spreadsheet to calculate how long it would take him to pay back his $200,000 in student loans – 25 years at half his monthly salary, per his calculations.

In an instant, that number vanished. Mitchom, sitting in the crowd, wept.

“I can delete that spreadsheet,” he said in an interview after the commencement. “I don’t have to live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was shocked. My heart dropped. We all cried. In the moment it was like a burden had been taken off.”

His mother, Tina Mitchom, was also shocked. Eight family members, including Mitchom’s 76-year-old grandmother, took turns over four years co-signing on the loans that got him across the finish line.

“It takes a village,” she said. “It now means he can start paying it forward and start closing this gap a lot sooner, giving back to the college and thinking about a succession plan” for his younger siblings.

Morehouse College president David A. Thomas said the gift would have a profound effect on the students’ futures.

“Many of my students are interested in going into teaching, for example, but leave with an amount of student debt that makes that untenable,” Thomas said in an interview. “In some ways, it was a liberation gift for these young men that just opened up their choices.” (NAN)

Source News Express

Posted 20/05/2019 4:38:44 PM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
2019: INEC to monitor political parties’ campaign finances...

Boko Haram: Disquiet in war front as soldiers...

Nigeria turns to Russia for arms to fight...

The Yoruba and bandwagon politics, By Fredrick Nwabufo...

Boko Haram raids two Yobe towns

JSS 1 student stones classmate to death

10 Olympic champions confess to doping

IPOB charges faithful ahead of Feb. 16 Biafra...

Protesters storm Chevron oil depot in Niger Delta,...

NLC talks tough, says strike will expand as...

Court remands Ohakim, Nyako and son in custody...

FG saves N120bn by checking ghost workers

 

Latest News Controversy as BBNaija’s Tacha snubs Tuface AMAA 2019 nominees at a glance 10-year-old enters shop through ceiling to steal N100k Mother kills 3-day-old step-son with insecticide Presidency: Atiku breaks silence on tribunal judgement Troops eliminate seven top commanders of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists Nigeria’s TOP 10 Songs Police stall trial of kidnap kingpin Evans 44-year old man slaughters three in-laws in Edo Gbajabiamila blasts service chiefs for shunning security meeting, to report to Buhari Wahala dey! Rape saga: Fatoyinbo demands N50m from Busola Dakolo

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (542,279 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (443,734 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (390,175 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (327,111 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (295,222 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (253,958 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (250,205 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (238,839 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (231,896 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (217,893 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (196,204 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (193,760 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (102) Business & Economy (4,453) Business Verdict (80) Columnists (1,112) Complaints & Requests (96) Enterprise & Opportunities (215) Entertainment (665) Features (814) Global Business Monitor (445) ICT Monitor (63) International (3,966) Interview (203) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (171) Maggie's Blog (418) News (51,549) Opinion (1,360) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,459) Religion (1,102) Sports (2,171) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera