Universities are recognized as institutions of higher learning. They produce individuals who are highly trained and equipped to be productive members of the society. Some of these alumni end up being extremely productive by growing into billionaires. These are literally modern captains of industry. By engaging in high stakes businesses, these billionaires determine the direction of entire industries. This indicates that they are highly influential people. Which institutions produce such high value individuals? Here are the 19 universities that count the highest number of billionaire alumni.
University of Pennsylvania
This Ivy League university has 21 billionaire alumni. It has dethroned it's arch-rival, Harvard university. The University of Pennsylvania produced 5% of the top 400 wealthiest people in the world. One of the most famous alumni of this university is Elon Musk, billionaire owner of Tesla Motors and CEO of the Space X company. He also cofounded PayPal, the top internet-based money transfer company in the world. Elon transferred from the Queen's University in Canada and enrolled in the university of Pennsylvania. To pay for the tuition fee, Elon turned his own house into a club on the weekends and charged patrons to attend. He gained degrees in both economics and physics from this university. After that, he enrolled in a Physics PhD program in Harvard university but dropped out to found his first startup company, Zip2. Some other billionaire alumni of this university include Steve Wynn, owner of the Wynn casino and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of technology billionaire, the late Steve Jobs.
This Ivy League university falls in second place with 14 billionaire alumni. One of the youngest billionaires in the world is a Harvard graduate. He is known as Nathan Blecharczyk and is the founder of Airbnb. He got a computer science degree from Harvard. Steve Ballmer, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and cofounder of Microsoft is also a Harvard graduate. Moreover, David Rockefeller, the surviving grandson of oil magnate J.D. Rockefeller is also one of the billionaire graduates of Harvard. This university is also famous for having billionaire dropouts such as the richest man in the world Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.
Known to be a bitter rival of Harvard, Yale has 14 billionaire graduates, the same number as Harvard. One of them is Stephen Schwarzman, the cofounder of Blackstone Group, a private equity giant. He actually applied first to Harvard and got rejected. Therefore, he joined Yale instead. Fred Smith, founder of FedEx is also another billionaire from Yale. The Mars brothers, John and Forrest are also billionaire graduates of Yale. Their family owns candy bars such as Snickers and M&Ms.
This is an Ivy League university that produced 13 billionaire alumni. Located on the West Coast, Stanford is located near Silicon Valley. Therefore,many of its billionaires are in the technology industry. Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy are the billionaire founders of the Snapchat social application. They met at the Kappa Sigma frat house of Stanford university. Moreover, Whatsapp cofounder Brian Acton is a Stanford alumni and so is Reid Hoffman, founder of the LinkedIn professional social media network.
University of Southern California
This university has established itself as a billionaire production powerhouse too. It has 11 billionaire alumni. Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce and Frank Fertitta who owns casinos and manages the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) are both billionaire alumni of this university. George Lucas who is well known as the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones also studied in the school of Cinematic Arts of this university.
This university has 9 billionaire alumni in total. They include the founder of Citigroup, Sanford Weill, Chuck Feeney who founded Duty Free Shopping and Ratan Tata, the Indian steel magnate. Other billionaires from this university include real estate tycoon Howard Milstein and David Duffield, the cofounder of PeopleSoft. Irwin Jacobs, the cofounder of Qualcomm also attended Cornell university.
This prestigious, private university produced 7 billionaires. Jeff Bezos is well known as the founder of Amazon, the giant ecommerce company. He is a billionaire alumnus of Princeton. Carl Icahn, business magnate and corporate raider extraordinaire is also a Princeton alumnus. The parent company of Google is known as Alphabet Inc. Eric Schmidt is a billionaire chairman of this company. He is also a Princeton alumnus.
With 6 billionaire alumni, Columbia university is a reputable billionaire production institution. This Ivy Leave university is the alma mater for famous stock market billionaire Warren Buffet. He is also known as the Oracle of Omaha and controls Berkshire Hathaway company. Through it, he controls investments in companies such as Coca Cola, GEICO and Dairy Queen. Henry Kravis is a billionaire corporate raider who is well known for the RJR Nabisco takeover. He is also a graduate of Columbia university. With a bachelor of arts degree in economics, Daniel Loeb is a hedge fund billionaire who also graduated from Columbia university.
Well represented by 6 billionaire alumni is Dartmouth college. Some of these alumni include Leon Black, Steven Roth, Stephen Mandel and Trevor Rees-Jones. They are all worth more than $1.1billion. In addition to being very successful alumni, these billionaires are also respected members of the university's Board of Trustees.
University of Michigan
This university has a healthy number of 6 billionaire alumni. One of them is Charlie Munger, the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. Alongside Warren Buffet, he is a master investor and has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to his alma mater for various developments. Real estate magnate Stephen M. Ross is also an alumni of this institution. He is a billionaire developer and has also donated hundreds of millions to the university. Eric Paul Lefkofsky is a billionaire angel investor in Groupon. He is a graduate of this university too.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This institution is well known as the ideal location to complete a degree in engineering courses. It remains a strong contender with 5 billionaire graduates. They include William, Charles and David Koch. These are the billionaire brothers who run Koch Industries. Another billionaire to graduate from MIT is Lorenzo Mendoza who runs the largest food distribution organization in Venezuela. In addition to that, Patrick McGovern, the founder of the International Data Group also graduated from MIT.
University of California Berkeley
Not to be left behind is this institution. The University of California Berkeley has 4 billionaire graduates. They include the Kutayba brothers from Kuwait. They run Alghanim Industries in Kuwait, a huge conglomerate with stake in the Gulf Bank. Michael Milken is another billionaire to graduate from this institution. Well known as the Junk Bond King, Michael made between 200 and 550 million dollars in his prime years of investing. He is currently a billionaire and a graduate of this university.
A respectable trio of billionaires graduated from Amherst University. One of these individuals is Richard S. LeFrak, the Chairman and CEO of the LeFrak Organization. Another billionaire alumni of this university is Amos Hostetter Jr. He owns a cable TV company and is an active philanthropist in Boston. Thai Lee is also another billionaire alumni of this university.
Claremont McKenna College
Among the three billionaire alumni of this university is George Roberts. He is one of the cofounders of the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) financial firm. They performed a series of leverage buyouts and made billions. He is noted for donating $50 million to the institution for a recreational development.
Southern Methodist University
This university has a history of producing individuals who are successful in the field of business. It has 3 billionaires in the executive list. One of the notable mentions is Hong-Tu Tsai from Taiwan who has major stakes in the Cathay empire of real estate and airlines. Trevor Rees-Jones is also another billionaire from the institution. Helmut Sohmen is the billionaire chairman of the BW Group. It is a shipping conglomerate based in Hong Kong. He is also an alumnus of this university.
University of Arizona
This institution has a reputation for producing media personalities as well as professional athletes. It also produces billionaires. Today, it is recognized for having produced 3 billionaires. One of these is Terry J. Lundgren who is the C.E.O. of Macy's chain of boutique stores. Joan Ganz Cooney is also a billionaire alumnus of this university. She is credited with creating Sesame Street as well as cofounding the Children's Television Network (CTN).
University of Arkansas
This university is well known for having graduates who go on to become major businesspeople. According to the most recent reports, this university produced 3 billionaires. It has educated the children of billionaire families over the years. Examples of these are the Walton family who are well known for the Walmart empire and the Murphy oil family.
University of California San Diego
This West coast university is also recognized for having a number of billionaire alumni. It has 3 representatives in this elite list. One of the notable mentions is Nick Woodman, the founder of GoPro camera company. Known as the mad billionaire, Nick created the GoPro camera idea so as to capture his surfing exploits on the Pacific Ocean waves. He actual joined the university so that he could be close to the waves and is now a billionaire.
University of Denver
This university has a total of 3 billionaires in the listing of the wealthiest people in the world. It has educated billionaires for decades. Some notable examples are Charlie Ergen, the founder of the DISH Network and John Malone, the billionaire magnate of cable television.
The Important Take Away
These are the universities to attend if you have ambitions of becoming a billionaire. The facilities, teaching methods and professional organizations in these institutions of higher learning make them ideal environments to foster your inner business talents. Enrolling in one of these institutions grants you a fighting chance of joining the wealthiest people in the world.