Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren won’t be happy with this news as they hate billionaires and have made their 2020 presidential campaigns about them and how they do not pay their fair share.
Usually, at commencement speeches, the speakers rise up to give the graduating class words of encouragement about the world they are entering and how different it will be from what they just experienced in college. Robert Smith, a billionaire philanthropist, shock the entire 2019 Morehouse University graduates by pledging to “put a little fuel in your bus,” by taking care of their debt.
“On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we’re going to put a little fuel in your bus,” Smith told the 396 graduates in a surprise announcement.
Pointing out the alumni seated in the audience, Smith said, “This is my class, 2019,” and challenged them to follow his lead.
“My family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans,” Smith said.
The pronouncement prompted a jaw-dropping standing ovation from the graduates and their families, and chants of “MVP! MVP!”
But Smith, ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the richest people in America with an estimated net worth of $4.4 billion, said he had one request from the beneficiaries of his generosity.
“Now, I know my class will make sure they pay this forward,” Smith said. “I want my class to look at these alumni, these beautiful Morehouse brothers, and let’s make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward.” [ABC News]
This is fantastic! It’s made even better by being an unsolicited act of assistance, or in other words the students did not demand or ask for this but assumedly stuck to their missions of diligent study and were granted an unexpected gift for doing precisely as they should, which in truth is something probably deserved by many more college students than acknowledged.
So many times an ultra-wealthy person will pledge their money to a large, faceless entity and then wash their hands of any further duty or give to another billionaire’s charity, which means middle America will never see the benefits. This man is out there, making it happen and I respect him like no other.
Believe it or not, I’ve seen negative messages from some very sad people who have used racist innuendos about this monumental surprise. To those people, I saw you should check yourselves. One entry talked about how the college was for black Americans and this wouldn’t have happened if there were white students attending it. Well, guess what, white students do attend Morehouse University, so again, check yourselves.
Feel good about the gesture and hope then wonder why Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett haven’t done this before.
Actual leadership with clear messages ”pay it forward,” is a formidable challenge.
— Morehouse College (@Morehouse) May 19, 2019
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“Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you get educated. Where you go to school shouldn’t determine whether you get textbooks. The opportunity you access should be determined by the fierceness of your intellect, the courage in your creativity and the grit that allows you to overcome expectations that weren’t set high enough.” #MorehouseGrad2019