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5 notable alumni you might not know about

Reshma+Saujani+at+an+anti-PIPA+rally.
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5 notable alumni you might not know about

Reshma Saujani at an anti-PIPA rally.

Reshma Saujani at an anti-PIPA rally.

Photo Courtesy of Alec Perkins

Reshma Saujani at an anti-PIPA rally.

Photo Courtesy of Alec Perkins

Photo Courtesy of Alec Perkins

Reshma Saujani at an anti-PIPA rally.

It’s Homecoming Week, which means students navigate the Main Quad weaving in and out of adults strolling in bright orange sweaters with little kids. That’s right: Alumni are back on campus.

This year, the Homecoming theme is “Illini make History.” Most students, when listing off famous alumni for their curious relatives, will often include the regular list: Hugh Hefner, Roger Ebert, Red Grange and Nick Offerman. They’re all great men worthy of praise and admiration;

however, there are more people to brag about who attended the same University as you.

The Editorial Board put together a list of five other alumni who made a major impact on the world, even though their names may not be as well known among students on campus.

Max Levchin

Levchin, a native of the Ukraine, grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Levchin is the co-founder of the popular payment product, PayPal, and served as PayPal’s chief technology officer. He served as a chairman for Yelp and founded Slide, a media-sharing service for social networking sites that was acquired by Google in 2010, with Levchin as the vice president for engineering.

Steve Chen and Jawed Karim

We’re cheating because Chen and Karim are two alumnus that we couldn’t help but lump together. Chen and Karim are some gems of University history whose names  never seem to be remembered, even though every student on campus knows about YouTube.  Karim and Chen both graduated with Bachelors of Science from the University. Karim also gave the commencement speech in 2007.  Both former PayPal employees, along with a third, Chad Hurley, met and decided to develop their very own video sharing website in 2005, and thus YouTube was born.

Reshma Saujani

Saujani graduated from the University in 1997 with two degrees: one in political science, and one in speech communication. Saujani went on to study at both Harvard University and Yale Law School. In 2012, Saujani founded Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization focusing on eliminating gender pay disparity in technological fields of work. Saujani has spent much of her life working as an attorney; however, Saujani shifted her gaze toward politics in 2010. Although Saujani lost the 2010 Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 14th congressional district of New York, she became the first ever Indian-American woman to run for Congress.

Temple Grandin

Grandin, now Dr. Grandin, earned her Ph.D. in animal science from the University in 1989. She is known for designing facilities for cattle that help reduce stress on the animals during their handling. She is also known for her role as an autism spokeswoman. She has appeared on many talk shows, including “60 Minutes,” “The Today Show,” “Larry King Live” and others. She has authored books that give insight into an autistic mind and gave a TED lecture in 2010 titled “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds.” There was a movie about her life made in 2010 called “Temple Grandin,” starring Claire Danes.

Charles Getz

If you regularly use whipped cream in a can, you have alumnus Getz to thank for that. Getz earned his bachelors, masters and Ph.D. from the University throughout the 1930s. During his time at the University, he developed the “instant whipped cream machine” which led to the development and production of the whipped cream we know and love today.

 

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