Morehouse College has announced that Robert F. Smith, the Founder and CEO of Vista Equity, has donated $1.5 million to the institution.
One million dollars of Smith’s donation will go toward creating the Robert Frederick Smith Scholars Program, while the rest will be used to create a park that will give students a new outdoor study area near the campus’ Ray Charles Performing Arts Center.
“Robert F. Smith’s donation of $1 million for student scholarships will have a profound impact on the lives of deserving young men who have the desire to attend Morehouse College, but lack the resources,” said Morehouse President David A. Thomas. “We appreciate his generosity and his investment in a generation of students who will follow in his footsteps as global leaders and entrepreneurs.”
Robert F. Smith is a billionaire, investor, philanthropist, and businessman, who founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000. A global leader in software and technology investments, Vista currently manages equity capital commitments of more than $46 billion and oversees a portfolio of more than 50 software companies, employing 60,000 people worldwide.
In 2016, Smith donated $20 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The donation from Smith was one of the largest gifts to the museum by an individual and supported the museum’s digitization program as well as community outreach and curatorial initiatives. To show their appreciation for Robert F. Smith’s donation, the museum renamed its Explore Your Family History Center to the Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family History Center.
“Robert F. Smith has been a trailblazer in the world of finance and technology, and he is now bringing his resources and expertise to empower, engage and enliven the African American community to embrace its history and culture,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum. “Robert’s gift exemplifies his commitment to increasing access to opportunity, recognizing the potential in each of us and his respect for our past.”
Robert F. Smith was listed on the Forbes 400 list as one of the 400 richest Americans.