Approximately 400 Men of Morehouse will be debt free! That's right, you read that correctly, a whole graduating class will no longer have the burden of student debt that is looming over the rest of society. On Sunday, Billionaire technology investor and Morehouse Commencement speaker, Robert F. Smith announced that he would be paying off the student loans of every graduate that graduated from the college on Sunday. It is estimated that the total balance of all students graduating is something in the neighborhood of $40 millionaire. His $40 million donation will be the largest ever made to an HBCU by a living donor. To accompany the gift, Jadelle Beverly Hills contacted Smith's wife about creating custom cufflinks for the 400 graduates. The jewelry store plans to craft cufflinks that have gold, silver, diamonds, the school name, and the Smith name, to remind them of the good deed he has done for them.
Mr. Smith is the CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm he founded that invests in technology, software, and data. Robert Smith has already donated $1.5 million to Morehouse College, which aided in the establishment of a park and scholarship. He was named by Forbes as the richest African American for 2019, with an estimated net-worth of $5 billion. In 2017, he became the first African American to sign The Giving Pledge, a promise to gift most of his wealth to philanthropic causes.
A member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Robert Smith continually gives to causes he believes in. The Cornell University grad gifted his school $50 million for their engineering department, he gifted the Smithsonian African American Museum of History and Culture $20 million. 2 months ago, the president of the United Negro College Fund and fellow member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Michael Lomax awarded Smith with a President's Award, partly due to his commitment to provide HBCUs and providing funding to the institutions. Today, we send a large congratulations to the class of 2019 Morehouse grads and a HUGE thank you to Robert Smith for his generosity to seeing the next wave of leaders succeed debt free!