NORTH DARTMOUTH (WBSM) — The UMass Dartmouth Class of 2024 may have had to graduate in the middle of a storm, but it was commencement speaker Robert Hale who made it rain.

Hale announced at the end of his speech, which focused on the concept of giving, that he and his wife Karen were giving every graduate $1,000 in cash.

“We decided after this talk on giving, let’s act on giving,” he said.

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However, there was a stipulation.

“We want to give you two gifts,” Hale said. “The first is our gift to you. The second is the gift of giving.”

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

Hale pointed to a truck parked near the commencement ceremony and told the graduates that there were 3,000 “customized and full envelopes” in the truck.

The envelopes were all decorated by students at the John B. DeValles Elementary School in New Bedford and the William S. Greene Elementary School in Fall River.

Hale then told the more than 1,100 graduates that each would be receiving two envelopes containing $500 in cash.

“One says gift, one says give, and every one of you is going to get two of them,” he said. “The first is our gift to you, the second is a gift for you to give.”

UMass Dartmouth via Facebook
UMass Dartmouth via Facebook

“The first $500 is our gift to you. The second $500 is for you to give to somebody else or another organization who could use it more than you. Share in the joy of the gift of giving,” he said.

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Hale, who is the CEO of the Quincy-based Granite Telecommunications, is known for his charitable donations. He and his wife gave $1,000 to each of the 2,500 graduating seniors of UMass Boston back in May 2023, and he donated $26.2 million to 70 groups after completing his first Boston Marathon last month.

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