Top 10: Alums

Sally Ride ‘73 M.S. ‘75 Ph.D. ‘78 (CHUCK PAINTER/Stanford News Service)

2. Sally Ride ‘73 M.S. ‘75 Ph.D. ‘78 (CHUCK PAINTER/Stanford News Service)

1. Herbert Hoover ‘95
A member of Stanford’s first graduating class, President Hoover majored in geology and later became the head of the highly successful U.S. Food Administration during World War I. But let’s be real: his claim to fame — and the reason he’s number one on this list — is because he was the 31st prez.

2. Sally Ride ‘73 M.S. ‘75 Ph.D. ‘78
Ride was the first woman and youngest astronaut in space. Enough said.

3. Sandra Day O’Connor ‘50 J.D. ‘52
Appointed in 1981 by Ronald Reagan, O’Connor was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

4. and 5. Sergey Brin M.S. ‘95/Larry Page M.S. ‘98
As the co-founders of search engine Google, Brin and Page created one of the most powerful and profitable companies in the world, as well as the current epicenter of the Web.

6. William Rehnquist ‘48 M.A. ‘48 J.D. ‘52
Although there have been several Stanford representatives on the bench, Rehnquist was the only Chief Justice to have emerged from the Farm. And he had the fourth-longest tenure of any Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history, so there’s that.

Ted Koppel M.A. '62 (LINDA CICERO/Stanford News Service)

Ted Koppel M.A. ’62 (LINDA CICERO/Stanford News Service)

7. John Steinbeck
Although he never graduated, Steinbeck spent six years at Stanford before writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” among other literary classics.

8. Rachel Maddow ‘94
Host of the popular MSNBC program, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and the first openly gay news commentator, Maddow became a Rhodes scholar after graduating from Stanford with a degree in public policy980602D-31

9. Ted Koppel M.A. ‘62
Koppel, a celebrated journalist of current events and world affairs, was the original anchor of ABC’s “Nightline” before stepping down to a more low-key role with the National Public Radio.

10. Sigourney Weaver ‘72
The Hollywood actress gained national exposure in 1979’s “Alien,” but got her acting start in the Beta Chi Community for the Performing Arts on the Farm. Weaver is so proud of her Cardinal roots that her character in the James Cameron’s 2010 sci-fi masterpiece “Avatar” even wore a Stanford tank top.

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  • class of 2016

    Not a single person of color on this entire list? Obviously no “top 10″ list can be exhaustive or perfect, but surely there are incredible, non-White alumni who could have made this article.

  • Nick

    Did you seriously put the man regarded as the 20th century’s worst president as the first on the list?