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Quincy College Graduates Get $1,000 Cash From Commencement Speaker

QUINCY (CBS) - When 230 graduates of Quincy College filed into Veterans Stadium Friday for commencement exercises, none of them had a clue about what was coming their way, more than a diploma.

The commencement speaker was Rob Hale, founder and president of Granite Telecommunications. The beginning of his speech gave a clue. "If you give, I promise, in the long run you'll be the recipient of the positive energy," Hale said.

Then at the end, Hale sprung a gift on the graduates: he was giving each of them $1,000. But there was a catch. Only $500 was for them. They had to use the other $500 for a charity or give it to someone in need.

A roar went up from the 230 graduates, while some looked at each other in disbelief.

"I'm speechless," Class Valedictorian Beatriz Martins said. "I don't have any words to describe what emotion I feel right now."

Another graduate said his roommate had been struggling, so he'd give the $500 to him.

Hale said he was trying to show the graduates how charity is a positive feeling. "It does feel like it's a great pay it forward," said Hale. "You've done a wonderful thing now share that with everybody else."

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