The gift includes $1 million to establish the Robert Frederick Smith Scholars Program. The remaining $560,000 will be used to purchase land and build a park adjacent to the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. The college plans to seek ideas regarding the design and name of the park from students and alumni.
Smith is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. The first African-American business leader to sign the Giving Pledge, he is also the chair of the Carnegie Hall Board of Trustees, chair of the board of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and the founding director and president of the Fund II Foundation. In 2018, Smith received a Candle Award, the college’s most prestigious award for community service.
"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 College 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."