Billionaire hands UMass Boston grads $1000 in cash with their diploma

It was a day to remember for 2,500 University of Massachusetts Boston graduates when billionaire Robert Hale turned their commencement ceremony into a surprise cash giveaway. The CEO of Granite Telecommunications, Hale gifted each graduate with two envelopes, each containing $500. In total, he generously dished out $2.5 million, a small dent in his $5 billion net worth, according to Forbes.

Hale encouraged the graduates to pay it forward, urging them to donate one envelope to a charity of their choice. However, he made it clear the decision to donate was entirely up to them.

And this isn't his first philanthropic rodeo. In 2021, Hale gifted each of the 270 graduating students at Quincy College in Massachusetts with $1,000.