The main speaker at Morehouse College's graduation ceremony announced a grant on Sunday to eliminate student debt for the entire 2019 graduating class.
The surprise gift of billionaire Robert Smith to the nearly 400 seniors could be worth about $ 40 million, officials said.
"My family will create a grant to eliminate their student loans," Smith said, according to WXIA-TV. "You, great men of Morehouse, are limited only by the limits of your own conviction and creativity."
A 12-year-old reporter gives a graduation speech at the university
Tonga Releford, whose son Charles Releford III is a member of the Class of 2019, estimated that his student loans total approximately $ 70,000, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"I feel it's Mother's Day again," he said.
The announcement caused the biggest applause of the morning.
"When Dr. King said that the arc of the moral universe is bent towards justice," he was not saying that it folds on its own, it bends because we choose to put our shoulders together and push, "Smith said. the Ceremony, according to WXIA.
MOTHER, SON UNIVERSITY GRADUATE TOGETHER IN SURPRISE OF SURPRISE
Smith received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse during the start.
Morehouse College is a historically black men's college located in Atlanta.
Smith is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests in software, data and technology companies.
He is a graduate of Cornell and Columbia Business School.
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Morehouse announced in January a $ 1.5 million Smith grant for student scholarships and a new park on campus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.