The 21 Most Successful MIT Alumni Of All Time

Ben bernanke mit commencement graduationREUTERS/Jessica RinaldiBen Bernanke speaks at the MIT Commencement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 9, 2006.

MIT is considered to be one of the top colleges in the US — in fact, we ranked it the second best college in the country this year.

So naturally, the school has produced some of the most successful individuals the world has ever seen.

From world-renowned architects to powerful CEOs to scientists of all kinds, these are the most successful alumni of the school.

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke earned his Ph.D. in economics at MIT in 1979. He wrote a dissertation entitled, 'Long-term Commitments, Dynamic Optimization, and the Business Cycle.'

Source: MIT Economics.

Before becoming the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan earned his Masters of Science through the Sloan Fellows program at MIT's Sloan School of Management in 1972.

Source: United Nations.

Not only was Khan Academy founder Salman Khan president of his senior class, he earned three degrees while at MIT: two bachelors degrees -- one in maths, one in electrical engineering/computer science -- and a masters in electrical engineering in 1998.

Astronaut Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin turned down a scholarship to MIT as an undergrad but later returned where he earned a doctorate in astronautics in 1963. His dissertation is entitled, 'Line-of-sight Guidance Techniques for Manned Orbital Rendezvous.'

Lunar module pilot Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin

Source:, [email protected], Cracked.

CIT Group CEO and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and earned his bachelors in electrical engineering at MIT. Thain now serves on the MIT Corporation Board and on the Dean's Advisory Council of MIT/Sloan School of Management.

Sony International Production president Andrea Wong earned her bachelors in electrical engineering from MIT in 1988. Since graduating, she helped launch popular TV shows 'The Bachelor,' 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,' and 'Dancing With The Stars.'

Bose Corporation founder Amar Bose earned three degrees from MIT: a bachelors degree in 1951, a masters in 1952, and a doctorate in 1956. In 1956 Bose was asked to join the faculty at MIT, where he taught until 2001. He passed away in 2013.

Source: MIT News.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took on double and triple course loads at school while simultaneously enlisted in the Israeli army. Netanyahu earned his bachelors in architecture in just 2.5 years, and earned his masters a year later in 1976.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a news conference at his office in Jerusalem August 27, 2014.

Source: MIT News.

Former Post Master General and CEO of the US Postal Service John Potter earned his masters in management as a Sloan Fellow at MIT in 1995. Potter now serves as president and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Actor James Woods studied political science at MIT on a scholarship. He was a member of the theatre group Dramashop and a brother of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, but he dropped out in his senior year to pursue his acting career.

Shirley Ann Jackson became the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate from the institution in 1973. The physicist served as the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Clinton administration, and is now the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute president Shirely Ann Jackson

Source: RPI.

Ivan Getting studied physics on an Edison Scholarship and earned his bachelors from MIT in 1933. He returned to the university in 1940 as the director of the Division on Fire Control and Army Radar in MIT's Radiation Lab, where he and his team developed the GPS.

Robin Chase earned her masters in management as a Sloan Fellow at MIT's Sloan School of Management in 1986. She then went on to co-found and serve as the former CEO of Zipcar.

Source: MIT Alumni.

E-Trade founder and chairman William 'Bill' A. Porter earned his MBA at MIT's Sloan School of Management in 1967. In 1999 Porter, along with his wife, donated $25 million to build the Joan and William A. Porter 1967 Center for Management Education at Sloan.

After graduating from the Sloan Fellows program at MIT's Sloan School of Management in 1983, John W. Thompson became the CEO of Symantec -- the only African-American man leading a tech company at the time. Thompson is now the chairman of Microsoft and the CEO of Virtual Instruments.

Shortly after earning his MBA from MIT in 2005, Brian Halligan went on to co-found the marketing software company HubSpot. Halligan is the CEO of HubSpot and serves as a senior lecturer at Sloan, teaching a class in entrepreneurship.

Source: MIT Sloan.

In the late 1990s, Jonah Peretti did his postgraduate work at MIT's Media Lab where he studied educational technology. Peretti later founded Buzzfeed and co-founded The Huffington Post in the early 2000s.

Bill Hewlett, of Hewlett-Packard, earned his masters in electrical engineering from MIT in 1936. He went on to co-found HP, and in 1995 received MIT's Lemelson Prize -- a $500,000 annual award given to exceptional MIT inventors.

Both MIT computer science majors, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi founded the $10 billion company Dropbox in 2007. Houston got the idea for Dropbox when he kept losing his USB drives at school. Houston graduated in 2005, but Ferdowsi dropped out before his 2007 graduation to work on developing Dropbox.

Master of modern architecture I. M. Pei graduated from MIT in 1940 with a bachelors degree. He was a stand-out since his college days, earning the Alpha Rho Chi Medal, AIA Gold Medal, and the MIT Travelling Fellowship upon his graduation. Pei's architectural influence can be seen around the Boston campus.

Currently worth an estimated $3.5 billion, Lorenzo Mendoza graduated from MIT's Sloan Fellows program earning his masters in management in 1993. Mendoza now serves as the CEO of Venezuelan company Empresas Polar.

Now check out the impressive grads from another Ivy.

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