Any 2022 graduates of the Otis College of Art and Design who were dreading going to a long, boring commencement ceremony last Sunday evening at least got the great surprise that Evan Spiegel, founder of Snapchat, and his wife, Miranda Kerr, were paying off all of their student loans with a massive donation totaling over $10 million.

The school presented honorary degrees to Spiegel, Kerr and Queer Eye star and designer Bobby Berk. The school’s president Charles Hirschhorn then announced the incredible news to the grads after they all gathered their degrees.

Hirschorn told the sea of grads, “We have one more gift for the class of 2022. We know that for most of you, and your families, the shared burden of student debt is a heavy price that you paid for an exceptional Otis College education.” He added that building student debt could “compromise your future and limit your creative ambitions. We do not want to see this happen.” Hirschorn said the donation from Spiegel and Kerr represented “the largest single gift in the history of Otis College. Their gift will enable you to repay your student loans.”

The crowd immediately broke into a standing ovation with emotional reactions clearly on display in the video. Hirschorn told Today Parents that more than 90% of the Otis College student body have student loans, and 77% of the students are people of color.


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Earlier in the Commencement, Spiegel reflected, “Otis has played such an important role in my life as a designer. I had the opportunity to attend Otis Summer of Art when I was 15.” He also joked that “In class, I felt seen for my work, even when the critiques were tough. As they often were.” When Kerr spoke in front of the students, she said in part “creativity breaks down barriers and boundaries. It has the power to change how people feel. Through your creative talents, you have the ability to uplift and unite people.”

Spiegel and Kerr said in a statement, “It is a privilege for our family to give back and empower the class of 2022, and we hope this gift will empower graduates to pursue their passions, contribute to the world, and inspire humanity for years to come.”

Spiegel, who became the world’s youngest billionaire in 2015, has been relatively active in nonprofits and other generous initiatives, especially compared to some of the other world’s richest men. Spiegel and his Snapchat co-founder Bobby Murphy have reportedly donated over $280 million of their Snap stock shares to the nonprofit Snap Foundation, which pledged $3 million recently to help people impacted by Covid-19.

You can watch the incredible moment unfold below:

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