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Underhyped Texas College Shocks the Ivy Leaguers, Ties for First in America

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Whether one thinks leaders are born or made, one undeniable modern-day truth rings out: If you want to helm one of America’s top companies, it sure helps to go to the right college.

It turns out one of the truly “right” places to go is a Texas university that’s anything but Ivy League in attitude or aura. Yet that school is every bit the equal of Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Cornell when it comes to producing CEOs. In fact, it’s tied with those elite Ivies for the No. 1 spot in America on U.S. News & World Report‘s new CEO teaching rankings.

Reintroduce yourself to Texas A&M, CEO maker!

The new stats are as loud and clear as an Aggie Yell Leader’s cheer. No college in America has produced more major CEOs than Texas A&M. U.S. News & World Report examined the educational backgrounds of the CEOs of the Top 100 companies on the Fortune 500 list, and A&M finds itself sharing top honors. It’s the only non-Ivy League school among the universities tied for No. 1. And Texas A&M ranks ahead of vaunted colleges such as Brown, Penn and Tufts.

Sometimes it’s awfully good to be the outlier.

While the fellow No. 1s in CEO producing — Princeton (No. 1), Harvard (No. 2), Yale (No. 3) and Cornell (No. 15) — dominate U.S. News & World Report‘s highly touted overall college rankings, Texas A&M ranks No. 68. But A&M still produced three of America’s Top 100 CEOs, the same number as Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Cornell. Bruce Broussard (1984 A&M grad, accounting) runs Humana, David Cordani (1988 A&M grad, accounting) helms Cigna Corp, and Greg Garland (1980 A&M grad, chemical engineering) serves as CEO of Philips 66.

No other Texas university has more than one Fortune 100 CEO graduate. In fact, A&M is one of only five non-East Coast schools with multiple Top 100 CEOs. Wherever leaders come from, a stint in College Station seems to do them good.

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