Students at Morehouse College in Atlanta were sent into pandemonium when billionaire investor Robert F Smith - who was acting as their commencement speaker - told them he'd pay off their collective $40m (£31.4m) debt.
The investor and philanthropist said: "On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we're gonna put a little fuel in your bus. This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans."
He added: "Because we are enough to take care of our own community, we are enough to ensure that we have all the opportunities of the American dream.
"And we will show it to each other through our actions and through our words and through our deeds."