Billionaire and philanthropist Robert F. Smith delivered his commencement speech at Morehouse College on May 19, 2019. In this speech, he paid off the student loans of Morehouse graduates which reportedly estimated at $40 million.
The following is the full text [verbatim as delivered] of that speech at Morehouse College.
Robert F. Smith – Billionaire and philanthropist
Classmates. Class of 2019. You look beautiful. You look beautiful.
First of all, President Thomas, Board of Trustees, Faculty Staff and Morehouse Alumni, the extraordinary Angela Bassett, the distinguished Professor Dr. Edmund Gordon, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, family and friends, and most of all to my classmates, congratulations.
Earning a college degree is one of the most impressive and greatest accomplishments of life. But success as many parents and as hard as each of you have worked and have achieved today you’ve had a lot of help along the way. We are all the product of a community, a village, a team and many of those who’ve made contributions for you to arrive at this very moment today are with us.
So first and foremost, I’m going to ask you one more time you’re going to stand up. You’re going to turn around and you’re going to celebrate all these people — our community, our family who are here to celebrate you.
All right. Come on sit down class. We got a lot — we got a long way to go. So I want to make sure you got some stretching in.