Billionaire donor Robert F. Smith Pays Off 400 Graduates Loans


Billionaire Robert F. Smith stunned the crowd at Morehouse College’s commencement ceremony Sunday when he wiped out the student loan debt for the Class of 2019′s nearly 400 graduates.

There was a moment of stunned silence before the grads and their families burst into a mixture of applause and tears. Within minutes, praise for Smith spread beyond the Atlanta college.

He rarely grants interviews and is so low-profile that when the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture put a call out for major donors in 2013, the museum’s directors wondered, “Who is this Robert F. Smith?” They got their answer in spectacular fashion.

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