6 Sweet Words to College Grads: 'You No Longer Have a Balance'

Donor pays off debt of Class of 2022 at Wiley College in Texas
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2022 11:39 AM CDT
Anonymous Donor Clears Loans of New Grads at College
Stock photo.   (Getty/nirat)

As far as messages to graduating college seniors go, it's tough to beat. Wiley College President Herman Felton informed more than 100 grads of his school on Saturday that an anonymous donor had paid off their student debt, reports the Root. "If you have a balance, you had a balance," Felton said at the graduation ceremony, per the AP. "You no longer have a balance." (Watch the announcement and reaction here.) Wiley, a historically Black college in East Texas, estimates in a news release that the combined debt of the students in the Class of 2022 is $300,000.

"We are constantly communicating with donors to assist students in these ways so that they can begin their after-college experience with less debt," said Felton in the release. Wiley may be most famous for something that happened in 1935—its debate team defeated the national powerhouse team from the University of Southern California. The upset was chronicled in a 2007 movie called The Great Debaters, with Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. (More historically black colleges stories.)

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