Commencements

Billionaire pays off student debt of Morehouse College's entire graduating class

Robert F. Smith
Robert F. Smith. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RFK Ripple of Hope

Commencement speaker and billionaire Robert F. Smith announced Sunday he will donate an estimated $40 million to pay off the student debt for the 400 students graduating at the historically black, all-male Morehouse College, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Why it matters: Student debt in the United States has reached $1.5 trillion. Studies show student debt causes lower incomes and is the No. 1 stressor of millennials.

Protests erupt over Pence's invitation to speak at university commencement

Vice President Mike Pence.
Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

More than 5,900 people — many of whom are alumni and current students — have signed a petition urging Taylor University, an evangelical school in rural Indiana, to rescind its invitation for Vice President Mike Pence to deliver the commencement address next month, reports the Washington Post.

"Inviting Vice President Pence to Taylor University and giving him a coveted platform for his political views makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration's policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear."
— the petition’s author, Alex Hoekstra, who graduated from Taylor in 2007, wrote