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Wilberforce University cancels debt for 2020, 2021 grads

The class of 2020 and class of 2021 at Wilberforce University in Ohio got a huge surprise during graduation.
Credit: AP
This photo provided by Wilberforce University, graduate Rodman Allen hugs his mother after the commencement ceremony at Wilberforce University, Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Wilberforce, Ohio. (Wilberforce University via AP)

There are usually lots of cheers and applause at university commencements. But 2020 and 2021 graduates of Wilberforce University, a school affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, had an extra reason to celebrate during their ceremony May 29 in Wilberforce, Ohio. 

Their president announced that any debts they still owed to the historically Black university had been forgiven. 

Elfred Anthony Pinkard told the graduates they “represent the best of your generation" and the university wants to give them a “fresh start.”

“Because you have shown that you are capable of doing work under difficult circumstances, because you represent the best of your generation, we wish to give you a fresh start,” said President Elfred Anthony Pinkard. “So therefore the Wilberforce University board of trustees has authorized me to forgive any debt. Your accounts have been cleared and you don’t owe Wilberforce anything. Congratulations.” 

RELATED: Yes, Biden previously pledged to forgive $10,000 of federal student loan debt