Four Texas alums on Time’s 100 most influential people list

Vera Bespalova

“What starts here changes the world” is the unofficial motto of UT. This holds especially true for four UT alumni who have been named among the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine. 

TIME 100, a list of the 100 most influential people in the world, was first released in 1999 by Time magazine as the result of a debate among politicians, intellectuals and journalists. Now, the list is an annual event.

This year’s list featured four UT alumni: NASA chief scientist Alan Stern, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, PGA star Jordan Spieth and UT-El Paso President Diane Natalicio.

“It’s really inspiring to know that four people from UT have made it on this list and have truly been able to change the world in so many different ways,” biology sophomore Emma Meyer said.

The nominees for the list are chosen by TIME 100 alumni and the magazine’s international writing staff. The final list is decided by Time editors.

“At UT, our mission is to educate our students to become leaders and innovators and people who change the world, and this ranking is proof that we are doing that,” UT spokesman Gary Susswein said.

Others featured on the list include Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Stephen Curry, Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin.

Each alumnus on the list has accomplished a great deal in their career.

Alan Stern led the NASA mission that sent a spacecraft to Pluto. Darren Walker runs the second largest philanthropic organization in the country. Jordan Spieth won both the Masters and the U.S. Open in 2015. Diane Natalicio is transforming the model for teaching students in the 21st century.

“Seeing UT alumni do great things in the world reminds me that we all have a potential to do great things as well,” psychology sophomore Justin Fogarty said.

Susswein said the four alumni on the list are only a fraction of the total number of successful UT graduates.

“I think it reflects the achievements of our thousands upon thousands of alumni,” Susswein said. “We enroll a lot of talented and smart people, and we help them achieve their potential.”