Billionaire investor Robert F. Smith, founder of Vista Equity Partners with a reported net worth of $5 billion dollars (Forbes)-which makes him the wealthiest person of color in America- has pledged to pay off the student loan debts of the entire 2019 graduating class of Moorehouse College in Atlanta, GA.
If you watch the gentleman seated to Mr. Smith’s right,(on your left) this act of unspeakable kindness came as a shock. Smith made the announcement during the graduation ceremony, according to the video at TYT: The Breakdown.
I need to send this man an email.
This is a Planet Should intervention on the Planet Is problem of crushing student loan debt, a burden I personally know all too well.
I hope he swings by North Texas when my daughter gets her Master’s.
This is not the first time he did something like this.
Smith pledged $50 million to Cornell University in 2016. CNN Business reports:
He has quite the generous streak
Smith is a big believer in paying it forward.Before Sunday’s student loans announcement, he donated $1.5 million to Morehouse College for scholarships and the development of a new park.In 2016, he pledged $50 million to Cornell University, one of his alma maters, to support its chemical and biomolecular engineering school, as well as black and female engineering students.In 2017, he signed the Giving Pledge, an effort spearheaded by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to enlist wealthy Americans in giving away half of their fortunes.Smith said he would invest half of his net worth during his lifetime to causes that support equality for black Americans and the environment, while his wife, model Hope Dworaczyk Smith, would focus on helping children.He’s one of the founding donors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, committing $20 million to the museum before its opening.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.”
And, yes, I will be giving more attention to the positive. Planet Is has outgrown its usefulness. It is time for Planet Should to blossom.
Let’s talk about this.