Well, that's one graduation gift these students will never forget.
Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel made the largest single gift in Otis College of Art and Design's history to help the 2022 graduates pay back their student loans. The announcement was made during the school's commencement ceremony on May 15.
"We know that for most of you and your families the shared burden of student debt is a heavy price that you paid for an exceptional Otis College education," Charles Hirschhorn, president of the L.A.-based school, said. "We understand that this debt can compromise your future and limit your creative ambitions. We do not want to see this happen. We want to empower your imagination, your creativity and innovation….You have the support of the entire Otis community as well as Miranda and Evan. So, we are pleased to announce today that Evan and Miranda, through their Spiegel Family Fund, have made the largest single gift in the history of Otis College. Their gift will enable you to repay your student loans."
As Hirschhorn explained, the donation allowed the school to create a fund that will "cover full repayment" of the class of 2022's "existing, outstanding student debt for loans certified by the college." Furthermore, he continued, a second fund has been established to "reduce comparable student debt that has not been certified by the college."
"We look forward to great success all of you will achieve in the years ahead," Hirschhorn said, "and we hope this gift enables you to do great things and to pay it forward and do great things for others."
After hearing the news, the class of 2022, which according to the Los Angeles Times consists of 285 graduates, broke out into tears and applause.
"People are crying," Hirschhorn said after choking up. "It's making me cry."
Kerr and Spiegel, who tied the knot in 2017, received honorary doctorates along with Queer Eye star Bobby Berk. During his speech, Snap CEO Spiegel recalled how he took classes at Otis College when he was 15, enrolling in graphic design and drawing courses.
"Otis changed my life and it made me feel at home," he said. "In class, I felt seen for my work, even when the critiques were tough as they often were. I felt pushed and challenged to grow, surrounded by super talented artists and designers and we were all in it together. And that was just the high school summer program. You all have made it through the real deal. You're graduating from college."
In her speech, Kerr talked about being "blown away" after a tour of the class of 2022's final projects.
"Our 11-year-old [Flynn], who's also an artist, came home after the tour ignited and inspired by your creativity and is super excited about signing up for some summer classes," the supermodel said about her son with ex-husband Orlando Bloom (She and Spiegel have two kids: Hart, 4, and Myles, 2). "He's here today. Hi, Flynn!"
After the ceremony, Berk reacted to Kerr and Spiegel's gift. "What a beautiful moment watching the faces of those students and families as it sunk in that they are not only walking away with a degree that they worked so hard to get, but also walking away debt free," he wrote on Instagram. "Well done Evan and Miranda, we'll done!"