THE WORD | Billionaire Robert F. Smith pledges to pay off Morehouse College Class of 2019′s student loans

Billionaire investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith had a special announcement during his commencement speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta on May 19. The gift is estimated to be worth $40 million. Smith received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse today and was the class' commencement speaker.

“This is my class and I know my class will pay this forward,” Smith said in his remarks.

Smith is the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners and is considered one of the wealthiest Black entrepreneurs today. His company, which has an estimated $14 billion in capital, was listed as No. 1 on Black Enterprise’s annual list of the most successful black-owned companies. He’s also made Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, and in 2017 was named by Forbes as one of the 100 greatest living business minds.