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Boston Celtics co-owner surprises UMass graduates with $1,000 each

Robert Hale is listed among the richest people in the world, with a reported net worth of $5 billion.

Graduation cap and diploma
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There was a lot to cheer about at the University of Massachusetts Boston graduation ceremony. 

Robert Hale, co-owner of the Boston Celtics, surprised the graduates on Thursday with a $1,000 gift. 

"The first $500 is for you," he told the graduates. "It's a celebration of what you have done to be here today."

The announcement was met with loud cheers. However, Hale wasn't done. He laid out a challenge to the graduates, asking them to pay it forward.

"The second $500 is a gift for you to give to somebody else or an organization who can use it more than you," he said. 

The money was in two different envelopes. One was marked "Gift" and the other said "Give."

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The class of 2023 at the University of Massachusetts reportedly included more than 2,500 graduates, meaning Hale gave out more than $2,500,000 on Thursday. 

While extremely generous, that's a small fraction of Hale's fortune. In addition to co-owning the Celtics, which are still trying to secure a spot in the NBA Finals, Hale is the founder and CEO of Granite Telecommunications. 

Hale is listed among Forbes' richest people in the world. Forbes estimates Hale has a net worth of $5 billion.

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