No sooner had Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel and his wife, model and makeup mogul Miranda Kerr received honorary degrees from the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles than they returned and pledged to repay the class’s student loans. .
The Spiegel Family Fund’s “significant donation” exceeded $10 million, the school said in a statement, without disclosing the total amount.
The couple were keynote speakers on Sunday and received honorary degrees before making the biggest donation in the school’s more than 100-year history.
The gift for the 285-member class of 2022 was a boon for people like Yaritza Velazquez-Medina, who can now launch her career as a graphic designer without the burden of $70,000 in debt, she told the Los Angeles Times.
“I’m speechless,” Velazquez-Medina told the newspaper as tears streamed down her face.
Now she is no longer one of the 13 million Americans who collectively owe the federal government $1.6 trillion for their education, the largest portion of the nation’s consumer debt, second only to mortgages, noted the Los Angeles Times.
“Otis is extremely grateful for this historic, life-changing gift from Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel for the Class of 2022 and their families,” Charles Hirschhorn, president of the Otis College of Art and Design, said in a statement. “Student debt weighs heavily on our diverse and talented graduates. We hope this donation will bring them much-needed relief and allow them to pursue their aspirations and careers, further this generosity, and become the next leaders of our community.
Otis is a private, nonprofit college established in 1918, the first professional art school in Los Angeles. A full 77% of its 1,200 students identify as non-white, and 30% are the first in their families to attend college.
“Otis College of Art and Design is an extraordinary institution that encourages young creatives to find their artistic voice and thrive in a variety of industries and careers,” Spiegel and Kerr said in a statement. “It is a privilege for our family to give back and support the Class of 2022, and we hope this gift will empower the graduates to pursue their passions, contribute to the world, and inspire humanity for years to come. “
The donation will also establish the Alternate Loan Debt Repayment Fund, which the school will use for charitable donations to graduate students who obtained their loans outside of Otis.
The couple founded the Spiegel Family Fund in 2017 to focus on philanthropy in the arts, education, housing and human rights. Spiegel took a few lessons at Otis in high school before moving on to Stanford University. Kerr founded beauty company Kora and serves as its CEO. Spiegel is worth more than $5.2 billion, People reported.