Top 15 Stanford University Notable Alumni

Ever wondered where famous people went to school? Let’s look at Stanford University notable alumni to know which president, actor, actress, journalist, Nobel laureate winners, and other famous people graduated from here.

An alumnus is a graduate of an educational institution while a notable alumnus is a nationally prominent and recognized expert in an academic field who is covered in mainstream media. They are simply internationally recognized people who have graduated from an educational institution and have contributed immensely in their recognized field.

Stanford is a top university, it holds both national and international prestige and through its academic departments has produced some of the world’s best in various fields. Stanford University is a private research university located in Stanford, California and it is ranked among the world’s best universities by academic publication.

Stanford was established in 1891 and sits on 8,180 acres of land, and enrolls more than 17,000 students. The institution is divided into seven schools, with three undergraduate schools containing n40 academic departments and four professional schools specializing in law, medicine, business, and education.

Stanford has 84 Nobel laureates, 29 Turing Award laureates, and eight Fields Medalists as students, alumni, teachers, or employees as of April 2021. Stanford alumni have started several businesses that collectively generate more than $2.7 trillion in yearly revenue and employ 5.4 million people as of 2011, about equivalent to the world’s seventh-largest economy as of 2020.

Stanford University has produced one US president (Herbert Hoover), 74 surviving millionaires, and 17 astronauts. It is also a major producer of Fulbright Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and members of Congress in the United States.

In 1892, the university’s first graduating class founded the Stanford Alumni Association. More than 220,000 Stanford alumni are currently active.

The top Stanford University notable alumni are;

  • Larry Page
  • Tiger Woods
  • Sergey Brin
  • Reed Hastings
  • Sterling Kelby Brown
  • Peter Thiel
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Michael Cunningham
  • Vint Cerf
  • Carl Wieman
  • Alfred Achebe
  • Janet Zeph Briggs
  • Dana Fox
  • Derek Bok

1.      Larry Page

Lawrence Edward Page is one of the co-founders of Google and is also a business magnate, computer scientist, and internet entrepreneur. Larry was born March 26, 1973, in Lansing, Michigan, United States, and got a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

You might know Larry Page but you do know Google and now you know that he is a Stanford University notable alumni.

2.      Tiger Woods

Didn’t know the famous golf legend, Tiger Woods, graduated from Stanford? Well, now you do and he is Stanford University’s notable alumni regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and one of the most famous athletes in history. Woods received an athletic scholarship to study Economics at Stanford in 1994 and graduated in 1996.

Aside from going to Stanford to major in Economics, he was also there to hone his golfing skills which didn’t let him pay much attention to studies but focused on golf and went on to be among the greatest golfers in history.

3.      Sergey Brin

Google has two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin who met each other while they were studying at Stanford. Due to their contribution to the internet space, they are both recognized as Stanford University notable alumni. Sergey Mikhailovich Brin is also an American business magnate, computer scientist, and internet entrepreneur.

He was born 21st of August 1973 in Moscow, Russia, and later came to America with his parents in his early childhood. Sergey and Larry met while pursuing a Master’s degree program at Stanford University.

4.      Reed Hastings

Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. is the CEO of Netflix and is also an American businessman who is also one of the top Stanford University notable alumni. He was born in 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, and has written several books to help the younger generation.

Hastings attended Stanford University after getting rejected by MIT to pursue a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, he graduated in 1988.

5.      Sterling Kelby Brown

Sterling K. Brown is an American actor born in 1976 and has starred in several top TV shows and movies, including voicing cartoon characters in The Angry Birds Movie and Frozen II. His performance has earned him worldwide recognition as well as the Golden Globe Award and the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Kelby initially wanted to study Economics but fell in love with acting and decided to pursue an acting degree which got him a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University. He was included among the 100 Most Influential People of 2018 by Time’s magazine. Due to his work and contribution to the acting space, as well as the number of awards he has won, Brown is recognized among Stanford University notable alumni.

6.      Peter Thiel

Peter Andreas Thiel is also one of the top Stanford University notable alumni, he was born in 1967 and has several companies, including being a board member of Facebook. He is a German-American entrepreneur and venture capitalist, co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund.

Thiel was born in Germany but his parents moved to the United States when he was just one year old. He later went on to study Philosophy at Stanford University and graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts and went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree in 1992 from Stanford Law School.

7.      Reese Witherspoon

Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon is an American actress, producer, and entrepreneur born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the United States in 1976. She attended Stanford University to pursue a major in English Literature but didn’t finish pursuing a career in acting.

Reese has received several awards which include an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, a British Academy Film Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award. She was one of the highest-paid actresses in the world in 2019 and among Time’s magazine 100 Most Influential People in 2006 and 2010.

8.      Herbert Hoover

Herbert Clark Hoover is the 31st president of the United States and one of the top Stanford University notable alumni. He was born in West Branch, Iowa, the United States in 1874 and died in 1964, he was also a businessman and an engineer.

He attended Stanford University to pursue a Bachelor of Art in Geology and graduated in 1895. Hoover was part of the pioneering class at Stanford, he was the class’ treasurer, and the manager of both the football and baseball teams.

9.      Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham is an American writer and one of the top Stanford University notable alumni who graduated with a degree in English Literature. His novel The Hours won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999, he has also won other awards as a novelist and screenwriter.

The writer was born in 1952 to Don and Dorothy Cunningham and is currently a lecturer of creative writing at Yale University

10. Vint Cerf

Born Vinton Gray Cerf in 1943 in New Haven, Connecticut, United States, to Muriel and Vinton Thurston Cerf. He has always shown exceptional abilities from an early age, while in high school he worked at Rocketdyne on the Apollo program and helped write statistical analysis software for the non-destructive tests of the F-1 engines.

Cerf graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and was listed among the top Stanford University notable alumni. He is an American internet pioneer and recognized as one of “the fathers of the internet” which have earned him many awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Marconi Prize, the Turing Award, etc.

11. Carl Wieman

One of the top Stanford University notable alumni is Carl Edwin Wieman, born 26th March 1951 in Corvallis, Oregon, United States, is an American physicist and educationist who graduated from Stanford. Due to his contribution in the field of physics, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics and is currently a Professor of Physics at Stanford University.

Wieman earned a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1977.

12. Alfred Achebe

Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe is one of the top Stanford University notable alumni. He was born in 1941 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1966. He is a traditional ruler and the 21st Obi of Onitsha, Anambra State, South-Eastern Nigeria. Achebe is also been the chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University since 2015 and was earlier chancellor of Kogi State University.

He is also involved in many businesses which include being the chairman of the board of directors of Unilever Nigeria and the chairman of International Breweries.

13. Janet Zeph Briggs

Janeth Z. Briggs is recognized as the first woman to earn a mining engineering degree from Stanford University. This feat makes her unforgettable and is listed among the top Stanford University notable alumni. She was born in 1974 and is an American metallurgist and an expert on molybdenum and was inducted into the National Mining Hall of Fame in 1989.

While studying at Stanford, she was the vice president of the aviation club and learned to fly planes while pursuing her mining engineering degree at the university. She died in Tokyo in 1974.

14. Dana Fox

Best known as the writer of The Wedding Date and What Happens in Vegas, Dana Fox is an American screenwriter, born in 1976 in Brighton, New York, United States. In 1998 she graduated from Stanford with a degree in English and Art History.

15. Derek Bok

Born Derek Curtis Bok in 1930 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, he is a Stanford University notable alumni who graduated from the university in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He is an American lawyer and educator and the 25th president of Harvard University.

These are the top Stanford University notable alumni, there are thousands of alumni from Stanford University by the way, but you can go through the FAQs below to see more of these alumni.

FAQs on the Stanford University Notable Alumni

What famous person went to Stanford University?

There are thousands of famous people that went to Stanford University but the ones that stand out are former American president is John F. Kennedy who studied there for just a short time, he dropped out of his MBA program to do other things. Other noteworthy alumni are Tiger Woods – one of the greatest athletes in history – Sundar Pichai – Google’s current CEO – and actress Reese Witherspoon.

What is Stanford best known for?

Stanford is best known as a research-intensive institution especially in the areas of applied sciences like engineering.

Did JFK go to Stanford?

JFK did attend Stanford University to pursue an MBA degree but dropped out before receiving his degree.

What famous actresses went to Stanford?

The famous actresses that went to Stanford are Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Connelly.

What famous actors went to Stanford?

The famous actors that went to Stanford are Ted Danson, Fred Savage, and Andre Braugher.

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