Margo Alexander ’68

After pursuing a business degree amid turbulent campus protests in the 1960s, Alexander went on to blaze new paths for women on Wall Street. Throughout her career, she climbed from stock analyst to senior executive at Paine Webber and accumulated many “firsts” along the way, including the first woman to head a top-ranked research department and the first woman to run a major trading floor. She later chaired the Acumen Fund, a nonprofit that invests in small enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas to address global poverty. Alexander says, “Berkeley taught me that business can and should benefit society.”


Business and Economics, Public Service and Activism

John Christopher Stevens ’82

After studying history at Berkeley, Stevens, like so many graduates, joined the Peace Corps and taught English in Morocco. This experience sparked an enduring affection for the Middle East that led to a long-term successful career in the foreign service with postings in several countries. As the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, he strongly supported the revolution to unseat Moammar Gaddafi and was a champion for the country’s emerging democracy. He was killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. In a tribute, President Obama said of Stevens, “He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.”

Public Service and Activism

Kirsten Tobey M.B.A. ’06 and Kristin Richmond M.B.A. ’06

As the name suggests, Revolution Foods, co-founded by Tobey and Richmond, wants to change the way kids eat in school. Aimed at fighting childhood obesity, Revolution Foods serves fresh, healthy meals to more than 800 lunchrooms and over 200,000 kids daily and was named the second fastest growing inner-city business by Michael Porter’s Initiative for a Competitive Inner City in 2012. The kids receive one item each month that they may not have eaten before. “There is a glimmer in a kid’s eye when he realizes, ‘Hey, I like brown rice!’ that shows us he is getting engaged with food,” says Richmond. With more than 48 million meals served to date, that glimmer is the spark of a revolution. Follow the company on Facebook or Twitter @RevolutionFoods.

Business and Economics, Health, Innovators

Jann Wenner

Jann_Wenner4Wenner started a quirky rock-music biweekly in 1967 called Rolling Stone — and changed American culture. Treating the country’s increasingly vocal youth with a newfound seriousness, the magazine spoke for an entire generation through its definitive music coverage, provocative interviews, award-winning photography, and important investigative and political reporting. With 12 million readers today, Rolling Stone still serves as the ultimate source for music information and pop-culture trends. Wenner was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Arts and Entertainment, Innovators

Terry McMillan ’77

Known for her zesty depictions of independent black women, McMillan’s best-known books — Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back — have sold millions of copies each and were made into movies. On her website, she says she writes to understand herself and others, “especially people I’m not crazy about or have little respect for or whom I find confusing. I want to know why we do (some of the stupid stuff) that we do.” McMillan is also a conduit for information and ideas about writing, parenting, spirituality, travel, and other areas to make life better. Follow her on Twitter @MsTerryMcMillan

Arts and Entertainment

Nathan Adrian ’12

Winning two shiny golds in London for the 100 free and 400 medley relay, as well as a silver in the 400 free relay, helped secure Adrian’s spot as a favorite among swimming fans. No stranger to first place, he won golds in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships. While at Cal, he was named 2011 Pac-10 Co-Swimmer of the Year and Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and was a 2011 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American. He graduated with honors in public health. A self-proclaimed “child at heart,” Adrian was nicknamed Bok Choi when his childhood teammates discovered his Asian heritage. Follow him on Twitter @nathangadrian or visit his official website.

Olympics, Sports

Alex Morgan ’10

One of the top female soccer players in the world, Morgan scored her first Olympic gold in London. She made the winning goal that led U.S. Women’s Soccer into a gold-medal rematch with Japan (which they won!). Equally talented in the classroom as she is on the pitch, Morgan earned the Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention three times at Cal and graduated a full semester early. Inspired by her childhood heroine, soccer star Kristine Lilly, Morgan dons the number 13, proving that it doesn’t always bring bad luck. Follow her on Twitter @alexmorgan13.

Olympics, Sports

Julie Gerberding M.P.H. ’90

As the first woman to head the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gerberding led the agency through several high-profile crises during her tenure, including the mysterious anthrax attacks following 9/11, SARS, and numerous food-borne outbreaks. An infectious disease expert, she is now president of Merck’s vaccines division.


Paul Jacobs B.S.’84, M.S.’86, Ph.D.’89 EE

As board chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, Jacobs is the driver behind wireless data services that pushed the cellphone from a talking tool to a handheld computer delivering data and entertainment. Innovations under his leadership include GPS capabilities, over-the-air downloading of applications, and advanced reflective display technology. Jacobs has more than 40 patents to his name.

Business and Economics, Innovators, Science

Alysia Montaño ’08

Known for the flower tucked into her hair in every race, Montaño excels in the notoriously difficult track and field event, the 800 meter. She set the Cal record in 2007 and has won three U.S. National titles, a World Indoor bronze, and two NCAA titles. She was the world’s fastest woman in the world in the 800 meters in 2010. Although she didn’t medal in the 2012 Olympics, she won the 800 meters in the trials. Showing her fierce determination, she said on her website, “In competition, the race is long enough that pace is important, but short enough that there’s no time for fear.” Follow Montaño on Facebook and Twitter @AlysiaMontano.

Olympics, Sports