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Wiley College Graduates Receive Surprise Debt Cancellation From Anonymous Donor

Wiley College Graduates Receive Surprise Debt Cancellation From Anonymous Donor

They’re going into their future debt free! 

Wiley College graduates received a surprise debt cancellation from an anonymous donor at their commencement ceremony, NBC News reports. 

Founded in 1837, Wiley College is no stranger to big support, best known for its debate program which inspired the 2007 film, “The Great Debaters,” starring Denzel Washington. Washington pledged $1 million to the HBCU to continue supporting their debate team scholars which he has consistently fulfilled. Last August, the fourth payment of $100,000 from his Washington Family Foundation made its way to the historic institution. 

This past Saturday, more than 100 students assembled for graduation in Texas. While the graduating class of 2022 were already celebrating, ecstatic to get their degrees conferred and begin the next journey of their lives, they got a surprise that would make the day even more special. 

During the commencement ceremony, President Herman J. Felton Jr., announced that donations once again had come to Wiley, an anonymous donor paying off the students’ balances. Felton said it is a goal of the HBCU to do all they can to ensure that students leave Wiley with less and less debt. In a separate press release, school officials said the debt balance paid was somewhere near $300,000 for the graduating class. 

“We are constantly communicating with donors to assist students in these ways so that they can begin their after-college experience with less debt,” said Felton Jr.


Wiley joins a movement of historically Black colleges and universities looking to tackle the crisis of student debt through forgiveness, courtesy of private donors and federal funds. Current HBCUs who have forgiven student debt include Morehouse, Hampton, Virginia State and Wilberforce University

Congratulations to the Wiley College Class of 2022!

Photo Courtesy of @WileyCollege1873/Instagram