African American Business Tycoon Financing Education of Women Kidnapped by Boko Haram

Robert F. Smith, founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners and the only African American man on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, has been identified by the Nigerian government as the Good Samaritan who is sponsoring the higher education of 24 women from the village of Chibok. The women were among a group of 276 girls who were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School by members of Boko Harem and subsequently escaped or were released from captivity.

The women’s education at American University in Yola in the Adamawa State of Nigeria will be financed by Robert Smith. He has also expressed his intention to support the education of other women who escape or are rescued from Boko Harem.

Robert Smith is a native of Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. After working for six years at Goldman Sachs, Smith founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000. The firm manages $26 billion in assets.

In early 2016, Smith pledged $50 million to Cornell University to support chemical and biomolecular engineering education at the university. As a result of the donation, Cornell has renamed its School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in Smith’s honor.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs