David Livingston / Getty Images
As the Sunday opening ceremony of the Otis College of Arts and Design was nearing completion, the graduates prepared to drop their caps and head out into the professional world. They will be armed with new diplomas and, in many cases, burdened by student loans.
About 77% of students identify themselves as colored people, and more than 90% receive financial aid, according to a nonprofit institution of Los Angeles. Its president Charles Hirschhorn admitted from the rostrum that while the college experience gives many gifts, it also has a price.
“We know that for most of you and your families, the total burden of student debt is the great price you paid for an exceptional education at Otis College,” he said. “We understand that this debt can jeopardize your future and limit your creative ambitions. We don’t want that to happen. We want to expand your imagination, your creativity and innovation. “
And so, he announced, the school received another gift for its future graduates: it would repay their debt.
This is thanks to a generous donation from the speakers – Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc., and CEO of KORA Organics Miranda Kerr, who have been married since 2017. They also received honorary doctorates at the Sunday ceremony as well Strange eye design expert Bobby Burke.
SPIEGEL went to design courses in Otis during high school before entering Stanford University, where he co-founded Snapchat on social media in 2011 (four years laterhe became the youngest billionaire in the world). According to Bloomberg The 31-year-old’s current capital is about $ 5.05 billion.
Without specifying the amount, the school statement said that the donation of the Spiegel family fund is the largest in the history of the college and “will repay the debt of students of the graduating classes of 2022.”
That’s 285 people, according to the report Los Angeles Timeswhich also states that the college’s previous largest gift was $ 10 million.
When Hirschhorn reported the news, the students cheered and jumped out of their seats to long applause. When he finally returned to his speech, his voice began to falter.
“People are crying, it makes me cry,” he said, laughing and wiping his face.
Hirschhorn explained that Otis had set up two funds: one to fully repay graduates’ outstanding debt on loans certified by the college’s financial aid department, and the other to issue charitable gifts to graduating students with similar educational loans secured outside the college. He said students will receive envelopes with more information upon leaving the ceremony.
The Table of figures of the US Department of Education puts the typical total debt for Otis undergraduate borrowers at $ 27,000 after graduation.
Both donors and the school hope that debt relief will allow graduates to realize their ambitions in the world of art and design, become leaders in society and ultimately pay for it.
“It is a great honor for our family to give and support the 2022 class, and we hope that this gift will enable graduates to pursue their hobbies, contribute to the world and inspire humanity for many years to come,” Spiegel and Kerr said in a statement.
Several students, still shocked, told The clock that surprise lifts a huge burden off their shoulders as they begin their careers.
Farhan Falahiruzi, whose family emigrated from Iran in 2015, said they were worried about more than $ 60,000 in debt he had taken to fund his degree, and that his mother cried when she heard the news.
“I had so much debt,” he said. “If it’s really all gone, it puts me ahead.”
The Biden administration has repeatedly extended the pause on student loan payments, one last time click the restart date until September 1. The president is also facing growing pressure from Democrats completely eliminate student debt, especially in light of his campaign promise to cancel $ 10,000 of student debt on each borrower.
And meanwhile how Corey Turner of the NPR reports interest rates on student loans are rising rapidly.
Spiegel and Kerr were not the only donors hoping to provide some relief this final season.
To name a few more examples: Graduates in Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, an anonymous donor repaid his debts. And restaurateur Pinky Cole announced at the opening ceremony of her alma mater, Clark University in Atlanta, that she is handing over to each of its more than 800 alumni. their own limited liability company to start your journey as an entrepreneur.