It is graduation season in East Texas. Many of our high school seniors will soon be walking across the stage to receive their diplomas and move on to an institution of higher learning or a trade school. Graduations are also taking place for those attending our many East Texas universities. One such graduation came with a big surprise in the form of some debt relief for students at a historically black college in Marshall.

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Wiley College in Marshall is one of the most well known, and best, historically black colleges in Texas. It was announced by the President and CEO of the university, Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr., that the $300,000 debt of the over 100 graduates had been paid by an anonymous donor.

Our commitment to our students goes beyond their time while they are enrolled. We are constantly communicating with donors to assist students in these ways so that they can begin their after-college experience with less debt. We are grateful for this anonymous donor who will assist the students in paying off their balances to Wiley College and help us achieve institutional goals of graduating our students with little to no debt.

This is awesome news for the hard working students of Wiley College. You can watch the full graduation ceremony below.

You may recognize Wiley College from the 2007 movie The Great Debaters starring Denzel Washington and Longview native Forest Whitaker. That movie followed the story of the 1930's era debate team from Wiley College who defeated the reigning national debate champions despite the obstacles of racial discrimination of that time period.

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