List of Famous MIT Alumni

MIT is a top rated college in the US. This institution was ranked the second best college in the US a few years ago.

On top of that, the school has graduated some of the most successful individuals the world has ever seen.

From world class architects to renowned  CEOs to scientists of all sorts, find below some of the most successful alumni of the school.

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke got his Ph.D. in economics at MIT sometime in 1979. He published his dissertation entitled, “Long-term Commitments, Dynamic Optimization, and the Business Cycle.”

Before he went on to become the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan got his Masters of Science through the Sloan Fellows program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management sometime in 1972.

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The Khan Academy founder Salman Khan wasn’t only the president of his senior class, but earned three degrees while he was at MIT: two bachelor’s degrees — one in math, one in electrical engineering/computer science — and a masters in electrical engineering in 1998.

Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin at some point rejected a scholarship to MIT as an undergrad but went back to the institution where he got a doctorate degree in astronautics in 1963. His degree dissertation was titled, “Line-of-sight Guidance Techniques for Manned Orbital Rendezvous.”

Did you know that CIT Group CEO and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was part of  the Delta Upsilon fraternity and got his first degree in electrical engineering from MIT?Currently, Thain is on the MIT Corporation Board and on the Dean’s Advisory Council of MIT/Sloan School of Management.

The president of Sony International Production  Andrea Wong got her bachelors in electrical engineering from MIT sometime in 1988. After graduation, she was behind the launch of popular TV shows “The Bachelor,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and “Dancing With The Stars.”

Bose Corporation founder Amar Bose attended MIT and graduated with three degrees: a bachelor’s degree in 1951, a masters in 1952, and a doctoral in 1956. Latter on In 1956, Bose was invited to be part of the faculty at MIT, where he taught until 2001. Sadly, he died in 2013.

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did double and triple course work at school while serving in the Israeli army. Netanyahu went on to earn his bachelors in architecture in under 2.5 years, and got his masters a year later in 1976.

The Head of Postmaster General and CEO of the US Postal Service John Potter got his masters in management as a Sloan Fellow at MIT in 1995. Potter is currently the president and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Actor James Woods did political science at MIT on a fully funded scholarship. He was part of the theater group Dramashop and a brother of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, but he latter left college in his senior year to take on acting. 

If you didn’t know,Shirley Ann Jackson became the first African-American woman ever to obtain a doctorate from MIT sometime in 1973. The physicist was the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission when Clinton was president, and is currently  the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Ivan Getting did physics on an Edison Scholarship and got his bachelors from MIT in 1933. He went back 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 worked on a new technology: the GPS.

Robin Chase got her masters degree in management as a Sloan Fellow at MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1986. She graduated and went on to co-found and serve as the former CEO of popular ridehare company-Zipcar.

The founder and chairman of E-Trade William “Bill” A. Porter graduated with an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1967. In 1999 Porter, together with his wife, donated $25 million for the Joan and William A. Porter 1967 Center for Management Education at Sloan. 

 Following his graduation from the Sloan Fellows program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1983, John W. Thompson went on to become the CEO of Symantec — the only African-American man who led a tech company at the time. Thompson was also appointed 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 popular marketing software company known as HubSpot. Halligan is currently the CEO of HubSpot and works as a senior lecturer at Sloan, teaching a class in entrepreneurial leadership.

During the late 1990s, Jonah Peretti undertook his postgraduate work at MIT’s Media Lab where he did educational technology. Peretti later Cofounder Buzzfeed and co-founded The Huffington Post in the early 2000s as well.

Bill Hewlett, of Hewlett-Packard, got his masters degree in electrical engineering from MIT in 1936. He would go on to co-found HP, and in 1995 got MIT’s Lemelson Prize — a $500,000 annual prize awarded to exceptional MIT inventors. 

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