Evan Spiegel, Snap co-founder, and wife Miranda Kerr, model and entrepreneur, are paying off the student loans for Otis College of Art and Design's 2022 graduating class.
"We know that for most of you and your families, the shared burden of student debt is a heavy price that you pay for an exceptional Otis education," Otis College President Charles Hirschhorn told students at Sunday's ceremony. "We understand that this debt can compromise your future and limit your creative ambitions. We do not want to see this happen."
He goes on to announce that the school was given "the largest gift in the history of Otis College" through their Spiegel Family Fund.
"Their gift will enable you to repay your student loans," he said, which was met with cheers and a standing ovation.
Hirschhorn told TODAY Parents that 77% of Otis students are people of color and more than 90% carry student loans. “Everyone is trying to process what’s happening,” Hirschhorn told TODAY. “It’s absolutely joyous.”
Spiegel became a billionaire at age 25, according to Forbes, and his net worth is roughly $5 billion.
"I can confirm, this is an extraordinarily talented class of 2022," Spiegel said during his speech. "This honor is especially meaningful to me because Otis has played such an important role in my life as a designer."
Spiegel recalled attending a high school summer program at Otis College when he was 15 years old. He said the program was tough, with harsh critiques, but ultimately made him a better designer.
He also reminded graduates that they have the power to create a better future as they move on from college.
"We're surrounded in today's society by win-lose, zero-sum thinking ... worried that one person's success might limit our own opportunity, ignorant of the tremendous arch of progress that has doubled average global life expectancy over the past 100 years more than doubled the American real GDP since I was born," he said. "Imagine what is possible in the next 100 years if we dare to create a better future."
At the end of his speech, Spiegel congratulated the graduating class and said he knew they would "do amazing things."