Forbes recently named Stanford as the business school with the most satisfied MBA graduates. That comes as no surprise to anyone who follows the school’s alumni, who have made names for themselves and accumulated vast wealth in the process. Here are some of the alumni who have become true movers and shakers.

Bill E. Ford, CEO of global growth equity firm General Atlantic, received his MBA from Stanford in 1987. He serves on the boards of several of the firm’s current portfolio companies, including IHS Markit and Tory Burch, and is involved with a number of nonprofit organizations as well. He is giving back to his alma mater by serving as vice chair of the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) Advisory Council.

Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors, got her Stanford MBA in 1990. For the third straight year, she has been ranked Number 1 in Fortune’s list of most powerful women. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company and the Detroit Economic Club, among others. Barra is co-chair of the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation. She is also a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees and the Stanford GSB Advisory Council.

Phil Knight, co-founder of shoe giant Nike, received his Stanford MBA in 1962. He currently sits at #18 on the Forbes 400 list and #28 on Forbes’ billionaires list. He retired in June of 2016, after 52 years at Nike. Knight is known as a generous philanthropist, and his alma maters have not gone forgotten: in 2016 he pledged $500 million to the University of Oregon and $400 million to Stanford.

Penny Pritzker, well-known philanthropist and billionaire, got both an MBA and a JD degree from Stanford in 1985. She was a key fundraiser for President Obama and served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 2013 to 2017. Pritzker co-founded real estate investment firm Artemis Real Estate Partners and served as chair of credit reporting firm Transunion. In 2017, she delivered the Stanford GSB graduation address, inspiring many graduates as they started their careers

Stanford MBA grads’ starting median base salary in 2017 was $136,000, with a signing bonus of $25,000, so new grads are well on their way to becoming wealthy movers and shakers in their own right.

Photo: The main quad of Stanford University. Credit: achinthamb /