‘A huge blessing’ Memphis Morehouse grad has $200K in loans paid off

Tennessee News

A Memphis man has a lot to celebrate after his recent graduation. 

Not only does he have a bright future ahead, but his student loans, along with the loans for all his classmates, were paid off thanks to his commencement speaker at Morehouse College in Atlanta. 

It’s a moment that will forever be etched in Khalil Downey’s mind; the day he found out his student loan debt would be wiped clean thanks to the billionaire investor and commencement speaker Robert F. Smith.  

“Throughout the ceremony, I was in very much disbelief. But once they confirmed he was serious, they had the funds, he wanted us to put it out on social media. It was just, it was wild.” 

The good news helps Downey tremendously. 

“I had the full financial burden, which was easily over $200,000.”  

Robert Smith is the founder of Vista Equity Partners. He delivered the news during Morehouse’s 135th commencement ceremony. He said he wanted the graduates to pay the good deed forward. 

“Huge, a huge blessing,” said Downey.  

“We are enough to make sure we have all the opportunities of the American dream, and we will show it through our actions and through our words and through our deeds,” said Smith during his speech.  

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