In the Press


Read the latest news mentions about Robert F. Smith and his business and giving to support his communities.

Wu President Uses Inspiration for Project

06/01/2021

Wilberforce University President Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard told 2020 and 2021 graduates at their graduation ceremony that all their student loan debt would be cancelled. Pinkard said he was spurred to action and inspired by philanthropist Robert F. Smith who paid the student loan debt of nearly 400 Morehouse College graduates in 2019.

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Companies Must Give More for an Equitable World

05/24/2021

A year after the killing of George Floyd, Robert F. Smith penned an op-ed for Quartz arguing that while a number of companies have made significant financial commitments to address systemic inequities in the past year, the private sector must continue to act to drive lasting change.

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Cisco Will Donate $150 Million to the Robert F. Smith Student Freedom Initiative to Help HBCU Students

05/24/2021

Cisco Systems committed $150 million to the nonprofit Student Freedom Initiative, which was the brainchild of Robert F. Smith. The funds will help students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

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Cisco is Giving $150 Million to Robert F. Smith’s Student Freedom Initiative

05/20/2021

Student Freedom Initiative, founded by Robert F. Smith and the Fund II Foundation, received $150 million from Cisco Systems. Fifty million of the investment will provide financing for 500 HBCU students for the next four years to attend colleges and the other $100 million will help bolster HBCU technology and cybersecurity systems.

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A Gift Left the Morehouse Class of ’19 Debt-free. Here’s How it’s Changing Their Lives

05/13/2021

Two years ago, Robert F. Smith committed to paying off the student loan debt of the entire Morehouse College class of 2019. That gift helped some Morehouse students explore new opportunities like applying to medical school or using their money to buy homes, save or invest for the future rather than being forced to pay down student loan debt.

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Robert F. Smith’s Philanthropy has Lasting Impact on Morehouse Students Lives, Sparks Additional Funding

05/17/2021

In 2019, Robert F. Smith gave a commencement speech at Morehouse College and announced he would wipe out student loan debt for the graduating class. Black Enterprise explores how this commitment is continuing to impact 2019 Morehouse graduates two years later.

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Enterprise Software Companies Set to Boom in APAC: Vista’s Robert Smith

05/05/2021

Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, spoke at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium about the future of software companies in the Asia Pacific region. Smith noted that he expected these types of companies to increase exponentially and anticipates big growth in the region.

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Students of Staten Island Eagle Academy Win the Black History in Two Minutes Essay Contest

05/02/2021

Two students from Staten Island Eagle Academy won the “Black History in Two Minutes” essay contest, which was created by the Eagle Academy and Fund II Foundation. Robert F. Smith is the founding director and President of the Fund II Foundation. The essay content asked students to watch the Black History in Two Minutes series and draft an essay on what the series meant to them and how it gave them tools to live a good life.

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Doordash Stock – These 10 Colleges Have Produced the Most Billionaire Alumni

04/15/2021

Fintech Zoom released their 2021 World’s Billionaires list and ranked educational institutions with the highest number of graduates on the list. Robert F. Smith’s alma mater Cornell University was #6 on the list with 18 billionaires.

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Black Fortune 500 Execs Condemn Republican Voting Restrictions

04/09/2021

Georgia recently signed into law increased voting restrictions which are likely to disproportionately impact voters of color. Robert F. Smith was among the Black business leaders who called on the country’s leading companies to play a greater role in protecting voting rights in America.

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