Elon Musk is a serial entrepreneur who has combined innovative business strategies and technology to become one of the richest people in the world. His record of creating visionary and successful companies is unprecedented. Currently Musk is the CEO and co-founder of Tesla, Neuralink, The Boring Company, and SpaceX. Since its inception, SpaceX has racked up numerous commercial firsts thought to be achievable only by governments.
Previously, Musk also co-founded and sold PayPal, the world's leading Internet payment system, and Zip2, one of the first internet maps and directions services. For his many contributions in the fields of information technology, space exploration, green technologies, and artificial intelligence, Musk has racked up numerous awards. Among them, Musk was listed by Forbes as The Most Innovative Leader of 2019. In addition, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. On top of that, Musk is also a philanthropist, and has already signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half of his fortune to charity.
As a billionaire, Musk joins a long list of fellow graduates from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. In 1992, Musk transferred there, thinking that the Ivy League school would open some additional doors for him. He pursued dual degrees, first an economics degree from the Wharton School and then a bachelor's degree in physics. At some point, his entrepreneurial instincts flared up, and Musk helped his roommates convert their large apartment into a lucrative nightclub. "I was paying my own way through college," Musk said, explaining the motivation behind such a strange move, "and could make an entire month's rent in one night."
Still, Musk thrived academically, and it was at the University of Pennsylvania that he first began to take on more serious thoughts about the future of humanity. "The three things that I thought would be the most effective were the Internet, the transition to a sustainable energy economy, and space exploration, particularly extension of life to multiple planets," he later told a reporter for the university's school magazine. "That's not to say I thought I would be involved in all those things. But as it turns out, I am."
Although Musk might be the busiest person in the world, he has also made time for his alma mater over the years. In 2009 he returned to the campus to deliver a very popular lecture titled, "Don’t Panic: Adventures in High-Tech Startups."
Then in 2018, when Musk heard that two alumni had donated $50 million to the Wharton school, the largest single gift in Wharton history, he instantly announced over twitter, "The single largest gift in Wharton history was my presence. Will donate 50mil and an unused submarine." Later that same year, a staggering 73% of incoming members of the Class of 2022 claimed they'd applied to the University of Pennsylvania for the same reason: Elon Musk, who might very well be the famous school's most famous alum.