List of Notable Stanford Alumni


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Feb 23, 2022 09:07 PM IST

We all have heard about Stanford University, but only a few know who were the notable Stanford alumni. Let us check out a detailed list of notable alumni, their career success. Also, why Stanford University is so famous amongst the students all over the world.

List of Notable Stanford Alumni

Ever imagined a world without Google? The search engine giant would have never existed without the efforts of Larry Page, a Stanford University alumni. As a matter of fact, various things that define our culture in today's time - from Netflix to Instagram - are inventions of Stanford graduates.

For decades, the university's alumni have helped to make our life easier in this modern culture. From famous United States Presidents to award-winning authors, writers, and actors, many of them are household names.

Why is Stanford University Famous?

Stanford, situated in California's Palo Alto, is one of the most prestigious universities in not only America but all over the world. Some of the major reasons for being so popular is first of all its acceptance rate, the student to faculty ratio, alumni and the number of opportunities it provides.

Talking about its infrastructure, the campus is one of the largest in America by covering an area of 8,180 acres with 43,000 trees, 800 species of plants, and 25 fountains. For the unversed, a total of seven schools make up Stanford University - School of law, medicine, engineering, humanity and sciences, earth, energy and environmental sciences, and Graduate school of business, education.

The university has developed a reputation as one of the top choices for higher education. After academics, athletics have a history that also plays a significant role during a student's campus life. As per data, the university has prepared 2,829 Olympians.

There are numerous other opportunities packed for students out of the classroom on campus. Rams Head Theatrical Society is one of the attention grabbers. This is Stanford's oldest-cum-largest theatrical society, established in 1911.

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List of Notable Stanford Alumni

The university gave many students a platform to polish and showcase their talent irrespective of their different fields of interest. Let us connect you with some of the top alumni of the university who have made everyone proud with their hard work.

Sigourney Weaver

Susan Alexandra 'Sigourney' Weaver is a famous American actress and an influential figure in sci-fi and popular culture. She clinched fame after playing the character of Sigourney Howard in The Great Gatsby.

Sigourney had joined Stanford University in the late 1960s to study literature. In the year 1972, she graduated from the university with a degree in the same field.

Her acting career has now helped her to develop a net worth of 60 million USD.

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak - a British politician, who is currently serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer since February 2020. He is the second-in-command to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Sunak is equally responsible for all the matters of economy and finance in the country. At just the age of 24, he managed to get a Fulbright Scholarship, which helped him to relocate to California for MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Undoubtedly, Sunak's MBA career took off and encrusted his future in finance firstly as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Later on, he himself set up his own hedge fund with the contribution of his ex-colleagues.

Mae Jemison

Mae Carol Jemison, an American engineer, doctor, and ex-NASA astronaut, is known as the first African-American woman or black woman to become an astronaut and travel to space.

At just the age of 16 in the year 1977, Mae earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and Afro-American studies at Stanford.

Apart from her space journey, Jemison has also been a co-investigator for a bone cell research project.

John Elway

John Albert Elway Jr., an American professional football executive and two-time Super Bowl champion, was a stellar quarterback during his four-year journey at Stanford.

He graduated with a BA degree from the university in 1983 and has also beaten several records to clinch the title of 'All-American' during his senior year. Apart from being an advent footballer, he also showed keen interest in basketball.

Elway is now associated with the Denver Broncos as its President for football operations.

Peter Thiel

Peter Andreas Thiel is an author, German-American billionaire and co-founder of PayPal. He was also the first outside investor in social media giant Facebook.

Thiel has received both his undergraduate and a law degree from Stanford. Post this, he once also returned to Stanford to teach on start-ups and businesses.

Larry Page

Lawrence Edward Page is known as one of the co-founders of Google. The internet sensation is also an internet entrepreneur and a computer scientist.

Larry Page pursued PhD at Stanford University School of Engineering. He also got his master's degree in computer science from the same university.

Other than being a big name in Google's invention, he is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Reed Hastings

Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr, is one of the top trending names these days in the internet world. He is currently the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix.

In 1988, he received MSCS in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University and in 1991 founded Pure Software, later on after acquisitions, Rational Software acquired the same in 1997. This led Hastings to co-found Netflix in the same year.

Currently, he is associated with several educational organisations like CCSA, DreamBox Learning, KIPP, etc.

Julie Foudy

An American retired soccer midfielder, Julie Maurine Foudy, has been a two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist.

Foudy began her experience as a Stanford student-athlete and a Stanford womens soccer alumna. She described her four-year college days as little utopia and credits her mates for making her Stanford days more memorable.

Currently, Foudy serves as one of espnWs top-notch voices, giving commentary, reporting and hosting podcast - Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy.

Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Victoria Clinton, an American writer and ex-US president Bill Clinton and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's daughter, also was an alumnus of Stanford University.

She at first started studying Chemistry at the university but later on switched her major to History. Later on, in 2001, she received her BA degree in History.

Chelsea is also a founder and co-chair of Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership at NYU. She has also worked as a special correspondent for NBC News and now she works for the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative as well.

Jennifer Katharine Gates

Jennifer Katharine Gates or Jennifer Gates is the daughter of billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates.

She graduated from Stanford University in human biology in the year 2018. Post this, she took a year off just to focus on her equestrian (horse riding) passion. She also went to medical school and once said in a magazine interview that her childhood paediatrician has inspired her towards this profession.

One of the commendable things Jennifer thinks about her is that she managed to tackle her studies and horseback riding altogether.

Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor got her BA degree in economics in the year 1950 in Stanford University. She is the first female American Supreme Court justice. After two years of her study at Stanford, she went to a law school.

In the year 1981, Sandra was roped in as Associate Supreme Court justice. The eye captivating moment of her life came when former US President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Marissa Mayer

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer started with Stanford as a pre-med student, however, she soon got bored of memorising things and switched to a major that would help to stimulate her problem-solving skills.

Hence, she has indulged herself in computer programming and graduated in 1997 with a BS and in 1999 with MS.

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Other Noted Personalities who Studied at Stanford

There are several other noted public figures, authors, celebrities and businessmen who were part of Stanford University but for a shorter period of time as they had to drop their career in between to either pursue their profession or due to personal reasons. These include:

  • Reese Witherspoon (actress)

  • Sergey Brin (Google Co-founder)

  • Mukesh Ambani (Business tycoon)

  • Steve Ballmer (First business manager of Microsoft)

  • Ted Danson (Actor, producer)

  • John F. Kennedy (35th US President)

  • John Steinbeck (Pulitzer Prize-winning author)

  • Jennifer Connelly (actress)

  • Elon Musk (One of the richest persons in the world and SpaceX CEO)

For the unversed, this university was founded in the year 1885 by California Senate Leland Stanford along with his wife, Jane and it has been ranked among the top six institutions by US News and World Report.

Also Read:

List of Notable UCL Alumni List of Notable MIT Alumni
List of Notable Harvard Alumni List of Notable Caltech Alumni

Benefits of Studying at Stanford

Apart from getting a chance to stand out in front of the world with the University's name on your CV, there are other more benefits of being an alumnus of Stanford.

  • Stanford Federal Credit Union

  • Alumni email

  • Stanford Magazine subscription

  • Alumni insurance program

  • Alumni Fan Shop

  • Career connections

  • Extended free access to Stanford libraries

  • Free bike rentals

  • Discount on Apple products

  • Healthy living resources

Stanford, as earlier said, is the first choice for many aspirants and undoubtedly, the university helps to make the brighter ones, the brightest with their excellent education system.

If you also want to enrol yourself in Stanford University but have a lot of doubts regarding the procedure, do not hesitate to contact our experts at for the best advice.

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