Students at a college in the USA got a huge surprise during their commencement ceremony. The students were listening to a speech at Morehouse College from the philanthropist Robert F. Smith. He was a recipient of an honorary degree. He ended his speech by informing 400 students that he would pay their student loans, worth about $40 million. He said: "This is my class, 2019, and my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans." He added: "On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we're going to put a little fuel in your bus."
Robert F. Smith, 56, earned an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School. In 2000, he founded the investment company Vista Equity Partners, which manages over $46 billion in assets. Vista made him a multi-billionaire. Mr Smith was the first African-American to sign the Giving Pledge. People who sign this promise to give at least half of their wealth to different causes. A graduate who had his $150,000 loan paid off said it would have an "immeasurable impact" on his life. He said: "Just imagine the weight lifted off your shoulders when you have a clean slate coming out of college."