A Graduation Gift

Liam Henderson, Staff Writer

Imagine sitting down for your college graduation with your fellow graduates ready to listen to an inspiring commencement speech? One would expect to hear about how the speaker worked hard, became successful, and overcame obstacles and welcomed opportunities. One would never expect to hear what the commencement speaker at Morehouse College in Atlanta told the graduates at their ceremony on May 19th.

After speaking for over 30 minutes, Robert F. Smith asked the graduating class to rise and to hug the student on either side of them. He then announced that his family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans. Many graduates were shocked and many were left with tears in their eyes. Mr. Smith had one request from the graduating class in return for this incredible gesture. He asked that they assure him that they will pay it forward. That meant to help students in the school after they leave, change another person’s life, and help someone else’s dreams come true. Mr. Smith is truly a philanthropist in every sense of the word and he has changed the lives of many in ways he may never even know.