The Founders Of These Million (And Billion) Dollar Companies Were All In Greek Life


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Most of us in Greek life are fully aware of the stigma we face. People think we’re all just in it to drink, party, and cause trouble. But as anyone in Greek life will tell you, it’s not just about the parties (but believe me, those are great, too). Fortune Magazine just released a list of founders of major companies that were involved in a social fraternity or sorority in college to further prove something we’ve been saying all along — Greek life isn’t just about partying. It also serves as a home for some of the biggest and brightest minds of this generation.

From Fortune:

It made us wonder: do Greek organizations, despite their reputations or perhaps because of them, serve as good incubators for entrepreneurship? A 2014 Gallup poll found that could be the case. Of the 30,000 college graduates surveyed, those who had participated in Greek life were more likely to start their own businesses than those who hadn’t.

Fortune reached out to 150 social fraternities and sororities to compile their list of 431 Greek members who went on to become a founder or co-founder of their own big business. The list is extensive and includes big names like Facebook, Snapchat, Uber, Home Depot, and Warby Parker. You can go through the entire list here, but here are some of the highlights.

  • Bill Bowerman, a Beta Theta Pi, and Phil Knight, a Phi Gamma Delta  at the University of Oregon, founded Nike.
  • Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel, Kappa Sigma’s at Stanford University, founded Snapchat.
  • Brian Lamb, a Phi Gamma Delta at Purdue University, founded C-SPAN.
  • Carolyn Rafaelian, an Alpha Xi Delta at the University of Rhode Island founded Alex and Ani.
  • Dan Carney, a Beta Theta Pi at Wichita State founded Pizza Hut.
  • Dave Gilboa, a Beta Theta Pi at the University of California, Berkeley founded Warby Parker.
  • Donald Fisher, a Delta Kappa Epsilon at the University of California, Berkeley founded Gap.
  • Donna Stone Pesch, a Kappa Delta at Northwestern University, founded Prevent Child Abuse America.
  • Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerburg, Alpha Epsilon Pi’s at Harvard University founded Facebook.
  • Herb Kelleher, a Delta Kappa Epsilon at Wesleyan University, founded Southwest Airlines.
  • Nancy Goodman Brinker, an Alpha Epsilon Phi at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, founded Susan G. Komen.
  • Jerry Yang, a Phi Kappa Psi at Stanford University founded Yahoo!
  • John Zimmer, a Sigma Pi at Cornell University, founded Lyft.
  • Paige Adams-Geller, a Delta Gamma at the University of Southern California, founded Paige Denim.
  • Sara Blakely, a Tri Delta at Florida State University, founded Spanx.
  • Whitney Wolfe, a Kappa Kappa Gamma at Southern Methodist University, founded Tinder and Bumble.
  • Patricia Miller, a Kappa Delta at Indiana University, founded Vera Bradley
  • Kevin Systrom, a Sigma Nu at Stanford University, founded Instagram.
  • Kate Spade, a Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Kansas, founded Kate Spade New York.

Another 431 reasons to be proud of your choice to go Greek.

[via Fortune]

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Cristina is a Grandex Writer and Content Manager. She was an intern for over two years before she graduated a semester early to write about college full time, which makes absolutely no sense. She regretfully considers herself a Carrie, but is first and foremost a Rory. She tends to draw strong reactions from people. They are occasionally positive. You can find her in a bar as you're bending down to tie your shoes, drinking Dos XX and drunk crying to Elton John. Email her: (not .com).

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