Graduates from the University of Massachusetts, Boston were left pleasantly surprised after billionaire Robert Hale, a commencement speaker during the ceremony, announced he was giving out envelopes with $1000 in cash to each student, CNN reported. Mr. Hale gave 2,500 UMass Boston graduates the cash before they crossed the stage on Thursday, May 25. However, the gift came with a catch.
Each student was given two envelopes, one with $500 as a gift and a second envelope with the remaining money to donate to a person or organisation in need.
”These are turbulent times. You guys have survived. You have prospered. You are to be celebrated. You’ve overcome. It’s not easy. We’re here. And we are proud of you. We want to share in that celebration with you. We want to give you two gifts. The first is a gift to you. The second is the gift of giving”, Mr. Hale announced.
”One says ‘Gift’ and one says ‘Give.’ The first is for you, the ‘Gift’ is for you. The ‘Give’ is also for you, but it’s to give,” Mr. Hale said, as per NBC.
The graduates jumped with joy, applauding for about a minute as workers pulled out stacks of envelopes from bags following the announcement.
”You’re going to define the next generation of our society, the commonwealth, and beyond. You will have a more enjoyable life if you give a little more than you get, and you take a few chances. Don’t fear failure. Defy it. You will have a more fulsome life because of it,” the billionaire added.
It’s not the first time he has pulled off such a surprise. As per NBC Boston, he gifted $1,000 each to 150 graduates at the Roxbury Community College in Boston In May 2022. He gave a similar gift to 2021 graduates at Quincy College where he handed $1,000 to all graduating students.
As per CBS News, Mr. Hale is the president of Granite Communications, a communications services provider for businesses with multiple locations, which is based in Quincy, Massachusetts. His net worth is estimated at $5 billion, and he has personally donated over $280 million toward cancer research, educational institutions, and other charities, according to Forbes.