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Billionaire promises to pay off student debt to graduating class at Atlanta college

4 years 2 weeks 1 day ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019 9:17 PM May 20, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo via Twitter @Morehouse

ATLANTA, GA - A technology investor and philanthropist has vowed to eliminate the student debt of the entire graduating class of an Atlanta college.

Over the weekend, the commencement speaker at Morehouse College was billionaire Robert F. Smith. He gave the best news to the graduating class of 2019. With nearly 400 students before him, his one mission was to inspire the men to pay it forward. 

"This is my class, 2019. My family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans," Smith said during his speech. 

This came as a surprise to the graduating students, faculty, and family in the crowd.

"I feel like it's Mother's Day all over again," parent Tonga Releford said.

Her son Charles Releford III, is a member of the graduating class and estimates that his student loans are about $70,000. 

Another student Elija Dormeus has an estimated student loan debt of $90,000. 

"I just started shedding tears and dancing," Dormeus said. "I'm really excited to walk off this campus because that was one of the things I was praying for was to be debt-free."

Smith received an honorary degree Sunday with the Morehouse class of 2019. His generous gift has been estimated at $40 million for the entire class. 

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