10 of the Famous Alumni of Stanford University

Stanford University is a private higher education provider in Stanford, California. It was established in 1885 and admitted its first students in 1891. Today, it is one of the best-reputed and most selective universities in the world. In the paragraphs that follow we are going to list some of Stanford University’s most famous alumni of all time.

Read also: 10 Famous Professors at MIT

Larry Page, Google’s founding CEO

  • Period spent at Stanford: mid-1990s
  • Degree: MSc in Computer Science, Ph.D. in Computer Science

Larry Page, Google’s founding CEO, earned both his Master’s and his Doctoral degrees at Stanford. Larry’s father, Carl Victor Page, also holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, but from Michigan University. In 2004, Page and Brin received the Marconi Prize for their extraordinary achievements in the field of online communication. In one interview published not long ago, Page recalls that while his schoolmates were playing with toys, he was playing with microchips and computers.

Sigourney Weaver, American Actress

  • Period spent at Stanford: 1969-1972
  • Degree: BA in English Studies

The second famous alumni at Stanford on our list is Sigourney Weaver – a famous Hollywood actress, who’s also known as The Sci-fi Queen. She is probably best known for her appearances in The Alien film series as the brave scientist Ellen Louise Ripley, who manages to save the world from a terrible space invasion. She spent four full years at Stanford at the end of the 1960s and earned her degree in English Language and Studies with a cum laude distinction. In 1988, she portrayed environmental activist and world-famous gorilla expert Dian Fossey in Michael Apted’s drama film Gorillas in the Mist.

Tiger Woods, Golf Legend

  • Period spent at Stanford: 1994-1996
  • Degree: Did not earn a degree

As you may rightfully suppose, golf legend Tiger Woods was invited to Stanford on an athletic scholarship to hone his golfing skills and master his fabulous shots. In the two years he spent there, Tiger did not work much on his major in Economics. Instead, he focused on golf, and at the age of 20, he became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles. In 1996, Woods also won the NCAA individual golf championship.

Reese Witherspoon, American actress

  • Period spent at Stanford: Mid-1990s
  • Degree: Did not earn a degree

Famous American actress Reese Witherspoon was deeply fascinated with books since her very early childhood, and by the age of 11, she was already an omnivorous reader.

This famous alumni of Stanford took up a Literature Major at Stanford shortly after her graduation from the all-girls Harpeth Hall School. Eventually, her passion for the big screen prevailed over her love of the belles lettres, and she made her first major breakthrough with the 2001 romantic comedy Legally Blonde.

Sergey Brin, Google co-founder

  • Period spent at Stanford: mid-1990s
  • Degree: MSc in Computer Science

Google co-founder Sergey Brin met Larry Page while doing his Master’s degree in Computer Science at Stanford. Brin commenced his Master’s program in computer science on a small scholarship he received from the National Science Foundation. The Brins first set foot on American soil and at that time Sergey’s life was not easy.

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton

  • Period spent at Stanford: 1997-2001
  • Degree: BA in History

Chelsea, former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s only daughter, used to receive a lot of media attention during her father’s term in office. And like the children of many other American statesmen, this famous alumni at Stanford earned a BA in History from Stanford. In 2015, she published her first children’s book titled It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, and Get Going!

Fred Savage, the youngest actor to have received an Emmy Award nomination

  • Period spent at Stanford: 1995-1999
  • Degree: BA in English Studies

Famous American TV actor Fred Savage will probably be forever remembered as the youngest person to have ever received a nomination for the prestigious Emmy Award. At the age of 13, he was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his appearance as Kevin Arnold in the American TV series The Wonder Years.

Julie Foudy, two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, and Olympic gold medalist

  • Period spent at Stanford: 1989–1992
  • Degree: Undergraduate

It is true that soccer is not very popular in the USA. Yet, on our list of famous Stanford alumni, we pay tribute to the outstanding achievement of women’s soccer legend Julie Foudy, who led the U.S. national team to win two FIFA Women’s World Cups in 1991 and 1999. Foudy also played in three Summer Olympic Games, winning a gold medal with the U.S. national soccer team at the home Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. She spent four years at Stanford at the end of the 1980s and earned an undergraduate degree.

Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal

  • Period spent at Stanford: 1985-1989
  • Degree: BA in Psychology

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel was born in Frankfurt in 1967. While in high school, Thiel was very good at mathematics, but surprisingly took a turn to Psychology and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford in 1985. It is interesting to mention here that in 2004 he invested half a million dollars in the then-budding company Facebook, acquiring a 10.2% stake. That’s what we call a good investment!  

Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix

  • Period spent at Stanford: 1987-1988
  • Degree: MSc in Computer Science

American entrepreneur and philanthropist Reed Hastings is probably best known as one of the co-founders of Netflix – the world’s most popular online TV and video rental platform. At the beginning of the 1980s, Hastings joined the Peace Corps and went on to teach Math in Swaziland from 1983 to 1985.