BOSTON (WHDH) - The keynote speaker at Roxbury Community College surprised the over 150 graduates of the school a gift they’d never forget.

That speaker was Rob Hale, CEO and founder of Granite Telecommunications and an owner and director of the Boston Celtics. He said each graduate will receive $500 as a gift, and $500 to donate to an organization or supporter of their choice “to share in the gift of giving.”

Several graduates said they were stunned by the gesture.

“Honestly, I was not expecting it,” said graduate Jennifer Mendez Perez. “It means a lot to me and it probably means a lot to every student who’s graduating today.”

Hale recognized the challenges these students endured during their time in college.

“They’ve been through the most turmoil in my American history, and they persevered, they graduated. They should be celebrated,” he said.

Hale said the $1,000 gifts are from his family, and that his children decorated the envelopes containing the cash.

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