NPR

Newly Debt-Free Morehouse Grad: 'We Realized We Could Primarily Focus On What We Loved'

Billionaire Robert F. Smith surprised nearly 400 graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta when he announced he would eliminate their student debt — an amount estimated at $40 million. (Mike Stewart/AP)

Billionaire Robert F. Smith surprised the nearly 400 graduates of all-male, historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta on Sunday when he announced he would eliminate their student debt — an amount estimated at $40 million.

Peter Wilborn was one of the students in the crowd.

“I guess if you could choose a word for the entire … experience when he announced it, it was almost surreal,”‘s Robin Young. “So many of us had lived with the idea of student debt, with the idea of just coming out of college with loans at that point. It was just given as a fact of life. But when he announced it, suddenly a lot of that just went away, and we realized we could primarily focus on what we loved and what we had studied for so many years.”

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