UMass Dartmouth graduation speaker gives each student $1,000

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A commencement speaker surprised graduates at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth this week by giving them each $1,000 cash in envelopes — but with a catch. 

Robert Hale, Jr., the founder of Quincy-based Granite Telecommunications, told students that “each graduate who crossed the stage” on Thursday “would receive one $500 envelope to keep as a gift” while the second $500 envelope is intended to be given to “someone in need or a charity or cause close to them,” the university said. 

“These trying times have heightened the need for sharing, caring, and giving,” Hale said. “Our community needs you and your generosity more than ever.” 

A UMass Dartmouth spokesperson told FOX Business on Friday that 1,200 graduates received the $1,000 gifts. 

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“Hale told the crowd about his career, including losing $1 billion nearly overnight, and urged them not to let failure define them, using his own life as an example of resilience and perseverance,” the university said in a press release. 

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UMass Darmouth graduates

“As the degree conferral was about to begin, Hale came forward and let the graduates know he had one more bit of advice for them. He told the eager crowd that for him and his wife Karen, ‘the greatest joys we’ve had in our life have been the gift of giving,’” UMass Dartmouth added. “Hale let the Class of 2024 know that the two large duffle bags being brought up on stage by security were packed with envelopes full of cash.” 

Robert Hale Jr speaks at UMass Dartmouth commencement

    

Hale, who is also part of the Boston Celtics ownership group, has an estimated net worth of $5.4 billion, according to Forbes. 

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