Commencement speaker tells grads to ‘pay it forward.’ Then he pays off their student loans

For the most part, commencement speakers are a pretty forgettable lot. They might be good for a few laughs but within a few months, they become a trivia question.

Suffice it to say, though, the Morehouse College seniors are not going to forget their commencement speaker.

He paid off their student loans.

Robert Smith had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the historically black college in Atlanta.

But then during his remarks on Sunday morning, he announced he and his family were providing a grant to pay off all the loans for the Class of 2019.

That’s about $40 million, the Atlanta Journal Constitution estimates.

He left some words behind too, telling the graduates that it isn’t enough to just be on the bus.

“You want to own it, you want to drive it, and you want to pick up as many people as you can along the way,” he said.

“I’m putting some fuel into your bus, “ he said. “I’m counting on you to load up that bus.”

(h/t: Paul Tosto)

  • jon

    Kudo’s to Mr. Smith for doing this, shame on our government for allowing education to be so expensive it takes a billionaire to fund one class from one college.