Fraternities, for the most part, have been given a bad reputation by media outlets. Sometimes, we don’t do anything to warrant it, like when Rolling Stone faked a rape story at UVA. Sometimes, we bring it on ourselves, like when OU SAE went full racist on the world. Unfortunately, no matter how much good we do, the media still wants to put us on a stake and watch us burn.
Fortune Magazine is out to show that fraternities are actually good organizations. They did so by answering the question, “Do Greek organizations, despite their reputations or perhaps because of them, serve as good incubators for entrepreneurship?”
A 2014 Gallup poll found that could be the case. Of the 30,000 college graduates surveyed, those who had participated in Greek life were more likely to start their own businesses than those who hadn’t.
Here are just a few of the 429 companies that have been founded by fraternity and sorority members:
- SixFlags: Angus G. Wynne Jr., Phi Kappa Psi, University of Texas – 42,000+ employees, $1.3B in revenue
- Chesapeake Energy: Aubrey McClendon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Duke – 4,400 employees, $12.7B in revenue
- Doritos: Archibald C. West, Kappa Delta Rho, Franklin College – 50,000 employees, $11.5B in revenue – this is all of the Frito-Lay brand
- HomeDepot: Bernard Marcus, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Rutgers and Kenneth Langone, Sigma Chi, Bucknell – 371,000 employees, $88.5B in revenue
- Bain & Company: Bill Bain, Vernon E. Altman, Pi Kappa Alpha, Vanderbilt University, MIT – 5,700 employees, $2.3B in revenue
- Nike: Bill Bowerman, Beta Theta Pi and Phil Knight, Phi Gamma Delta, University of Oregon – 62,000 employees, $32B in revenue
- Augusta National: Bobby Jones, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Georgia Tech (LinkedIn claims they have 1000-5000 employees)
- Snapchat: Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, Reggie Brown, Kappa Sigma, Stanford – 330 employees, $22B valuation
- Merrill Lynch: Charles Edward Merrill, Chi Psi, Amherst College and Edmund C. Lynch, Phi Gamma Delta, Johns Hopkins – Owned by Bank of America
- Charles Schwab: Charles R. Schwab, Sigma Nu, Stanford – 15,300 employees, $6.7B in revenue
- Pizza Hut: Dan Carney, Beta Theta Pi, Wichita State – 167,000 employees, $6.8B in revenue
- RE/Max: Dave Liniger, Pi Kappa Phi, Indiana University – 100,000 agents, $177M in revenue
- Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Alpha Epsilon Pi , Harvard – 12,691 employees, $17.93B in revenue
- FedEx: Frederick W. Smith, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Yale – 114,000 employees, $49.5B in revenue
- Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher, Rollin King, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Wesleyan University and Case Western Reserve – 49,000+ employees, $19.8B in revenue
- Qualcomm: Irwin M. Jacobs, Sigma Alpha Mu, Cornell – 33,000 employees, $22.6B in revenue
- General Mills: James Ford Bell, Chi Psi, University of Minnesota – 42,000 employees, $16.9B in revenue
- Marriott Corporation: John Willard Marriott Sr., Phi Delta Theta, University of Utah and Alice Marriott, Chi Omega, University of Utah – 127,500 employees, $14.5B in revenue
- Instagram: Kevin Systrom, Sigma Nu, Stanford – Owned by Facebook
- Bloomberg: Michael Bloomberg, Phi Kappa Psi, Johns Hopkins – 19,000 employees, $9.3B in revenue
- Bank of America: Orra E. Monnette, Phi Kappa Psi, Ohio Wesleyan – 213,000 employees, $91.5B in revenue
- Microsoft: Paul Allen, Phi Kappa Theta, Washington State – 118,000 employees, $86.6B in revenue
- Wal-Mart: Sam Walton, Beta Theta Pi, University of Missouri – 2.3M employees, $482.1B in revenue
- Turner Networks: Ted Turner, Kappa Sigma, Brown University – 8,000 employees, $8+B in revenue
- Uber: Travis Kalanick, Theta Xi, UCLA – 6,700 employees, $1.5B in revenue
Those 25 companies account for 3,865,621 employees worldwide. That’s a lot of jobs that these fraternity members have created. Not to mention the $1T (yes, trillion) of revenue they generate each year for the economy. There are some big companies I left off this list too. Fraternity members have gone on to create great things that are directly responsible for citizens’ livelihoods and our country’s (and the world’s) economic growth.
So next time some idiot loser tells you that fraternities are a stain on society, kindly point them to this article and tell them to sit on it and spin. Just think where the world would be without us..