An unforgettable day for the class of 2019 students at Morehouse University in Atlanta, Georgia. During the graduation ceremony, a billionaire by the name of Robert F. Smith, from the same class, appeared for a resounding announcement: he decided to take charge of all the student debts of the 400 graduates i.e. forty million dollars in all (about 35 million euros). .
“My family is going to create a scholarship to erase your student loans,” Mr. Smith told students at this historically black university. “This is my promotion,” added the businessman, who was at the ceremony to receive an honorary degree.
The announcement was obviously greeted with cheers and applause from the graduates and their parents, who were all quick to share videos of the intervention on social media.
— Jose Mallabo (@JoseMallabo) May 19, 2019
But who is Robert F. Smith?
Robert F. Smith, a graduate of the prestigious universities of Cornell and Columbia, became in 2015 the richest African-American according to the magazine Forbes. His fortune exceeds that of the famous and influential Oprah Winfrey.
A former chemical engineer and investment banker, he is the founder of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm specializing in the sale and purchase of software companies. Vista has over $46 billion in capital investment, owns more than 50 software vendors and employs 60 people worldwide, making it the world's fourth largest enterprise software vendor after Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.
In 2017, Forbes named Smith as one of the 100 Greatest Minds in Business.