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Students study in Sage Library in the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, March 28, 2019.

October 11, 2022

Forbes Ranks Cornell Seventh Most Popular University Among Billionaires

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On Oct. 2, Forbes released a list of the universities where most billionaires attain their degrees — Cornell placed seventh. 

The University tied with fellow Ivy Columbia University, as well as the University of Michigan. All universities listed have well known business schools, with Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Columbia Business School being known as some of the best in the nation. Every Ivy League School — except for Brown University — is on the Forbes list. The University of Pennsylvania, with its famed Wharton School of Business, is ranked as first.

Recently, the University surpassed Columbia in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, making it the number one university in New York State. The New York City university fell after an investigation of the data that the school provided for the report.

Cornell’s business school, the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, consistently ranks highly among the best business schools in the country. Most recently, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the graduate school as the 15th best business school in the country.

The Johnson School did not provide a statement in time for publication.

The namesake of the business school is an alum, and the connection to the University runs deep with his children. Heirs to the S.C. Johnson fortune Herbert Fisk Johnson ’79, M.Eng. ’80, M.S. ’82, M.B.A. ’84, Ph.D. ’86, S. Curtis Johnson and Helen Johnson-Leipold ’78 are all alumni. Their late grandfather, Herbert Fisk Johnson, Jr. ’22, is also a Cornell graduate. 

The younger Fisk serves as an emeritus member of the S.C. Johnson business school’s Advisory Council. The purpose of the council is to communicate the interests and concerts of alumni to the Dean, faculty, staff and students of Johnson, provide annual financial support to the University and assist in the implementation of strategic goals of the School.

One of the University’s wealthiest alums, David Duffield ’62, M.B.A. ’64, got his graduate business degree from the S.C. Johnson school, and is most known for founding the popular human resources platforms Workday — where Duffield is currently chairman emeritus — which is used by the University. Duffield also founded PeopleSoft, where he remained chairman until 2004. He resigned after less than three months of serving in the role. Duffield also donated $20 million to construct a University building in his name, Duffield Hall, in 1997. 

Ankith Kurapati ’23, vice president of public relations for Cornell Consulting and an undergraduate student in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, said he is not surprised by the University’s placement on the list.
“I’m not surprised with the report, given the incredible wealth of students here,” Kurapati said. “To me, this measurement is a representation of the background some students have, rather than some special quality Cornell has cultivated.”