Billionaire Philanthropist Surprises Graduates With Envelopes Full Of Cash

In a surprising turn of events at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s commencement ceremony, billionaire philanthropist Robert Hale Jr. stunned graduates by gifting each of them $1,000 in cash. The founder of Granite Telecommunications, with a net worth of $5.4 billion according to Forbes, made the announcement as he addressed the graduating class.

“Hale told the crowd about his career, including losing $1 billion nearly overnight, and urged them not to let failure define them, using his own life as an example of resilience and perseverance,” UMass Dartmouth explained in a statement.

Hale’s generosity came with a unique condition. As each graduate crossed the stage, they were handed two envelopes, each containing $500. The first $500 was designated as a personal gift, while the second was intended to be donated to a charity or cause of the graduate’s choice.

In his address, Hale emphasized the importance of generosity and giving back, particularly in challenging times. “These trying times have heightened the need for sharing, caring, and giving,” he remarked. “Our community needs you and your generosity more than ever.”

Reports indicate that a total of 1,200 graduates received the unexpected gift, which was met with surprise and gratitude from the recipients. Hale’s gesture underscored his commitment to supporting education and empowering young people to make a positive impact in their communities.

During his speech, Hale shared insights from his own professional journey, including experiences of resilience in the face of adversity. He encouraged graduates not to be defined by failure but to persevere and continue striving for success.

This act of generosity is not unprecedented for Hale. Last year, he similarly gifted $1,000 to all 2,523 graduates at UMass Boston, and in 2021, he extended the same gesture to 230 graduates of Quincy College. His philanthropic efforts have had a significant impact on students, providing them with financial support and inspiring them to pay it forward in their own lives.

As the Class of 2024 embarks on the next chapter of their lives, Hale’s gift serves as a reminder of the transformative power of generosity and the importance of giving back to others.