Billionaire investor Robert Smith has set a new bar this month when he announced during his commencement address that he was going to pay for all of the student debt of the Morehouse graduating class of 2019.
The entire class has more than 300 students so that promise will cost him up to $40 million dollars. He ALSO donated $1.5 million to Morehouse College directly for scholarships and also a new park.
“I don’t have to live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! I was shocked. My heart dropped. We all cried. In the moment it was like a burden had been taken off.”
That’s a ton of cash. But don’t worry, he’s good for it. He is quietly the richest black man in the United States with a net worth of over $5 billion. Yes, he has more money than Queen Oprah.
So, you may be asking, “Who is this Robert Smith?” I’m glad that you asked…
Robert Smith is an American businessman, investor and philanthropist. A former chemical engineer and investment banker, he is the founder, chairman and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners which boasts of having capital commitments of. $46 billion. In 2018, Smith was ranked by Forbes as the 163rd richest person in America.
With that much success it’s easy for some brothers to forget where they came from. No, not him. Smith said he would invest half of his net worth during his lifetime to causes that support equality for black Americans and the environment.
He’s also the founder and president of the Fund II Foundation, which provides grants for causes such as human rights, the environment, music education and “preserving the African American experience.”
In short, Robert Smith is a big deal for our community.
Towards the end of his commencement speech, Robert Smith told the audience, “This is my class,” Smith said, “And I know my class will pay this forward.” From your lips to God’s ears brother Smith. Thank you.
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