According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith said that his family was creating a grant to pay off the student debt of the entire graduating class. Vista is a big deal in the world of software investing, now managing about $46 billion in investments with a portfolio of more than 50 software companies that employ over 60,000 people around the world, according to the firm's website.
"Throughout his speech, he talked about a commitment to black people and he obviously demonstrated it at the end of the speech", Burns, who plans to go to graduate school at the University of Chicago on a full scholarship, said of Smith.
Addressing the college's class of 2019, Robert F. Smith, a man who is richer than Oprah Winfrey, made a grand gesture straight out of the television mogul's playbook.
"My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans", Smith said.
In any case, the student loans of each of the graduating class are said to amount to at least $30,000 and most of the students can not really afford to pay back their loans thus Robert Smith's pledge brought tears to the eyes of students and their parents.
"Because we are enough to take care of our own community", Smith said.
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Video footage of Mr Smith's remarks show the announcement was met with shock, as people's mouths fell agape, before students started cheering and the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
This year's graduating class at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia received news that most Americans only dream of hearing in their lifetimes.
Smith is the first African American to be named chairman of the board at Carnegie Hall, America's most prestigious concert venue.
Dozens of top replies to Ocasio-Cortez's take on the Morehouse tuition offer joined her in calling for tuition forgiveness for the more than 44 million borrowers who, according to economists, owe $1.7 trillion in student loan debt.
He said after the ceremony: "Where you live shouldn't determine whether you get educated".
He added that, "and I know my class will pay this forward".
Mr. Smith, who was once amongst the very most keen donors to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African-American History and Tradition, has always been an full of life philanthropist.
He encouraged the graduates to enjoy their diplomas, but he also impressed upon them the responsibility to do great things with it.