Prominent Alumni

The Arts

Will Ackerman ’67—Founder and former CEO, Windham Hill Records; producer, composer, musician; winner of 2005 Grammy Award for best New Age album

Natalie Cole ’68—Grammy Award-winning vocalist; albums include Leavin’, Unforgettable…with Love, Everlasting

Yaya DaCosta ’00 (née Johnson)—TV, film, and stage actress; Broadway debut in "The First Breeze of Summer"; films include "Take the Lead," "Honeydripper," "The Shanghai Hotel," "The Kids are All Right"

Lawrence Ferlinghetti ’37—Beat-generation poet, co-owner of City Lights Bookstore and publishing house

Donald Glascoff ’63—Executive producer of Academy Award-winning documentary feature "Taxi to the Dark Side"

David Hartman ’52—Television host, writer, and producer; former host of ABC’s Good Morning America

Laura Linney ’82—Academy Award-nominated actress, films include "The Savages," "The Nanny Diaries," "Kinsey," "You Can Count on Me"; Emmy and Golden Globe winner for best actress, HBO miniseries "John Adams"

Kim Raver ’85—Television and film actress; leading roles on "24," "Third Watch," "Lipstick Jungle"

Neil Sheehan ’54—Journalist and author; winner of 1989 Pulitzer Prize for A Bright Shining Lie; obtained Pentagon Papers for New York Times in 1971

Uma Thurman ’88—Academy Award-nominated actress; films include "The Producers," "Pulp Fiction," "Dangerous Liaisons," "Kill Bill"

June Meyer Jordan '53—Poet and author

Business and Industry

S. Prestley Blake ’34—Cofounder, Friendly Ice Cream

Amy Domini ’68—Founder and CEO of Domini Social Investments; creator of the Domini 400 Social Index; author of Socially Responsible Investing and The Challenges of Wealth

William Rhodes ’53—President, chairman, and CEO of Citibank, NA; senior vice chairman of Citigroup

Humanitarian Work

Arn Chorn-Pond ’86—Founder of Children of War, Peacemakers, and Cambodia Master performers Program; winner of Reebok Human Rights Award

Kimmie Weeks ’01—Liberian child rights activist, UN advisor, director of Youth Action International/Peace for Kids

James Nabrit III '48—Prominent Civil Rights Attorney

Law and Government

Aurelia Brazeal ’61—Diplomat-in-residence, Howard University; former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Micronesia (first U.S. ambassador to latter)

Lucy Wilson Benson ’45 —  the first woman to become (in 1977) an under secretary of state. It was then the most senior position ever held by a woman in the Department of State.

Valerie Jarrett '74—White House Senior Advisor and Assistant to President Barack Obama for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison and head of president's panel on women and children

J. Stapleton Roy ’52— Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Woodrow Wilson Center; former U.S. ambassador to Singapore, Indonesia, and People’s Republic of China

Anna Diggs Taylor ’50—Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (first black woman appointed to that role)


Dallas Baker ’02—Wide receiver for University of Florida Gators (winner 2006–07 college football national championship)

Merritt Carey ’87—Member of first all-female crew in America’s Cup yacht race; member of first co-ed America’s Cup crew

Oliver Drake ’06—Right-hand pitcher for the U.S. Naval Academy, drafted by the Baltimore Orioles

Brian Pothier ’96—Defenseman for National Hockey League team Washington Capitals

Frank Shorter ’65—Founding chairman of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency; TV sports commentator; gold medal-winner in 1972 Olympic marathon and silver in 1976

Brian Strait  '06—Defenseman for National Hockey League team Pittsburgh Penguins


Edward Said 1953—Scholar, professor, writer, critic; leading U.S. advocate for Palestinian cause

Historic Figures
William Morgan 1893—Inventor of volleyball
Lee DeForest 1893—Inventor of vacuum tube; called “father of radio”
Juliana Rieser Force 1900—Founding director, Whitney Museum of American Art
Pixley ka Isaka Seme 1902—Founder of African National Congress (ANC)
Connie Guion, Class of 1902, the first female doctor to teach in a medical school
Henry Roe Cloud 1906—Founder of first U.S. high school for Native Americans
DeWitt Wallace 1907—Founder, Reader’s Digest
Monroe Smith 1919—Founder of American Youth Hostels
Bette Davis 1927—Academy Award-winning actress
Tad Mosel 1940—Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright
James McLamore 1943—Cofounder and former chairman, Burger King