hbcu students

Graduating HBCU Students Debt Cleared By Anonymous Donor

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DALLAS — Graduating students from Wiley College, an HBCU in East Texas, were told at their commencement ceremony that an anonymous donor had paid their balances.

Wiley College said in a news release that over 100 students were gathered for graduation Saturday when the school’s president, Herman J. Felton Jr., made the announcement, informing graduates they “do not owe the college a penny.”

“If you have a balance, you had a balance,” Felton Jr. said. “You no longer have a balance.”

The news release also stated, “The estimated total for balances owed to the College by the graduating class of 2022 is $300,000.00. The anonymous gift sets graduates on a continued path to success and allows Wiley College to strengthen its commitment to providing an affordable exceptional education. As Wiley College closes the academic semester and prepares for its Sesquicentennial Celebrations beginning in July, this is a great way to end the semester and start the celebration of 150 years of the College’s contributions to the world.”

The 2007 movie “The Great Debaters” starring Denzel Washington was inspired by a debate in 1935 in which Wiley prevailed over the University of Southern California’s nationally-known, powerhouse team at a time when the nation was heavily segregated.

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