Students who graduated from Wiley College in East Texas on Saturday will begin the next chapter of their lives without any debts owed to the historically Black college as an anonymous donor cleared their outstanding balances.
According to The Associated Press, the graduating students, who were more than 100, were notified about the goodwill gesture during their commencement ceremony on Saturday. In a news release, Wiley College said the announcement was made by the school’s president.
“We are constantly communicating with donors to assist students in these ways so that they can begin their after-college experience with less debt,” Wiley College’s president and CEO, Herman J. Felton Jr., said in the news release.
The college said the graduating class of 2022 owed about $300,000.
Wiley College was the focus of the 2007 movie The Great Debaters. The film, which starred Denzel Washington, was centered on the 1937 debate where the historically Black college edged over a much more popular and dominant University of Southern California team. Segregation in the United States was also very rampant at the time.