Notable Alumni

Syracuse University alumni have been making their mark on the world since our founding in 1870. Whether it is in the arts, entertainment, journalism, business, law, human services, or anything in between, our students have consistently gone on to gain national and international acclaim for their accomplishments. Just another reason to say Go Orange!

Here is just a sampling of our alumni standouts. Know other accomplished alums? Nominate them for one of our alumni awards!

Architecture and the Arts

  • Thom Filicia ’92, interior design expert, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
  • Bruce Fowle ’60, founding principal, Fox & Fowle Architects
  • Adam Gross ’79, principal, Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects
  • Richard Hayden ’60, principal and chairman, Swanke Hayden and Connell architectural firm
  • Betsey Johnson ’64, fashion designer
  • Warren Kimble ’57, internationally known Vermont-based contemporary folk artist
  • Sol LeWitt ’41, modern artist, key creator of minimalism and conceptual art
  • Bill Viola ’73, internationally recognized video artist


  • Jim Brown ’57, actor and NFL running back, letter winner at SU in basketball, football and lacrosse, inducted to the Football Hall of Fame in 1971 and also inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame
  • Ernie Davis ’61, Syracuse University football running back and the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy
  • Dwight Freeney ’02, Super Bowl Champion, Indianapolis Colts
  • Gary Gait ’90, two- time National Player of the Year, two-time McLaughlin Award (Midfielder of the Year) winner, National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame
  • Floyd Little ’67, pro football hall of famer
  • Julie McBride ’04, all-time Syracuse women’s basketball scoring and assist leader; currently a member of the Artego Bydgoszcz Basketball team
  • Donovan McNabb ’98, former professional football player, quarterbacked the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings
  • Kathrine Switzer ’68, G’72, first woman to enter the Boston Marathon, author of Marathon Woman, and Emmy Award-winning TV commentator
  • Etan Thomas ’00, NBA player, poet, author of More Than an Athlete: Poems by Etan Thomas


  • Steven Barnes ’82, chairman of Syracuse University’s Board of Trustees, managing director at Bain Capital
  • Louis Giuliano ’68, former president and CEO, ITT Industries; senior advisor, The Carlyle Group
  • Bronagh Mullan Hanley ’90, director of consumer public relations, Netflix
  • Peter Hebert ’99, co-founder and CEO, Lux Research; co-founder and managing partner, Lux Capital
  • Marvin Lender ’63, former president, Lender’s Bagels
  • Ross Love ’68, president and CEO, Blue Chip Enterprises
  • John Mandyck ’89, G’92, vice president of government and international relations, Carrier Corporation
  • Elsa Reichmanis ’72, G’75, director of materials research, Lucent Bell Labs
  • Jennifer Spaulding ’98, buyer (youngest ever), Macy’s East Herald Square
  • John Sykes ’77, president of network development, MTV Network


  • Charles Baquet G’75, director, Center for Intercultural and International Programs at Xavier University
  • Molly Corbett Broad ’62, former president, University of North Carolina
  • Michael Crow D’85, president, Arizona State University
  • Donna Shalala G’70, H’87, former U.S. secretary of health and human services, former president of the University of Miami, member of the Institute of Medicine


  • Brad Anderson ’51, creator of syndicated comic panel, Marmaduke
  • Robb Armstrong ’85, creator of Jump Start syndicated comic strip, children’s author
  • Emme Aronson ’85, supermodel, television host, best-selling author, clothing designer
  • Craig Borten ’87, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Dallas Buyers Club
  • Dick Clark ’51, television icon and producer who hosted American Bandstand for decades
  • Denise Cramsey ’90, producer, House Wars; former executive producer, Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
  • Taye Diggs ’93, stage, screen, and television actor
  • Vera Farmiga ’95, Oscar-nominated actress, Up in the Air
  • Frank Langella ’59, award-winning stage and film actor
  • Arielle Tepper Madover ’94, theatrical and film producer; recent productions: Monty Python’s Spamalot, Frost/Nixon
  • Jessie Mueller ’05, Tony-Award winning actress for Carole King—The Musical
  • Lou Reed ’64, singer-songwriter and guitarist, The Velvet Underground
  • Chris Renaud ’89, Oscar-nominated director of Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2
  • Tom Everett Scott ’92, actor, Saved, That Thing You Do!, An American Werewolf in Paris, One True Thing, NBC’s ER
  • Aaron Sorkin ’83, creator, NBC’s The Newsroom, playwright and screenwriter, The Social Network and Moneyball
  • Jerry Stiller ’50, stage, screen, and television actor
  • Charles J. “C.J.” Strock ’00, agent, Podell Talent Agency (clients include The Allman Brothers Band, Peter Gabriel, Van Halen, Gavin DeGraw)
  • Drew Taggart ’12, member of the Grammy-Award winning group The Chainsmokers
  • Vanessa L. Williams ’86, national recording artist and actress


  • Dennis Crowley ’98, co-founder, Foursquare
  • Eric Mower ’66, G’68, chairman and CEO, Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing, and public relations agencies
  • Ian Schrager ’68, hotelier, co-founder and owner of Studio 54
  • Gianfranco Zaccai ’70, design strategist, president, and CEO of Design Continuum Inc.


  • Joe Biden G’68, former vice president of the United States
  • David Bing ’66, H’06, former mayor of Detroit, former NBA player, Basketball Hall of Fame
  • James B. Cunningham ’74, former U.S. ambassador
  • Steven Rothman G’74, member of Congress

Journalism and the Media

  • Samantha Brown ’92, Travel Channel host and luggage designer
  • Diane Camper ’68, assistant editorial page editor, Baltimore Sun
  • Bob Costas ’74, sports announcer, NBC, HBO
  • Megyn Kelly ’92, NBC
  • Rami Khouri ’70, G’98, international journalist specializing in Middle Eastern affairs
  • Ted Koppel ’60, former anchor of ABC News Nightline; managing editor, Discovery Channel; contributing columnist, The New York Times
  • Hilton J. Kramer ’50, H’76, former New York Times art critic; Art News editor; founder, editor, and publisher of The New Criterion
  • Steve Kroft ’67, co-editor and news correspondent, CBS, 60 Minutes
  • Jim Morin ’75, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, Miami Herald
  • Eli Saslow ’04, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post
  • Dorothy Thompson ’14, first female American journalist to run a foreign news bureau, The New York Post
  • Mike Tirico ’88, sportscaster, NBC
  • Robin Toner ’76, front page political reporter, The New York Times


  • Belva Ann Lockwood 1857, G1872, H 1909, women’s rights pioneer, first woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Elliot Portnoy ’86, chairman, Sonnenschien Nath & Rosenthal Law Firm


  • Stephen Crane (1891), author, The Red Badge of Courage
  • Joyce Carol Oates ’60, author, We Were the Mulvaneys, Faithless: Tales of Transgression, Them
  • Alice Sebold ’84, author, The Lovely Bones, Lucky, The Almost Moon
  • George Saunders G’88, Syracuse University professor of English and best-selling author, Lincoln in the Bardo
  • Cheryl Strayed G’02, author, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
  • Elizabeth Strout ’82, Pulitzer Prize-winning author


  • Ruth Johnson Colvin ’59, H’84, founder of Literacy Volunteers of America, recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Cissy Elm ’94, director, HIV/AIDS Program of the American Indian Community House in New York City and Syracuse
  • Collin O’Mara G’06, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation
  • John Tsebe ’81, first black national librarian in South Africa

Science and Health

  • Cornelia Maria Clapp (G 1889), leading scholar in marine zoology
  • Sarah Loguen Fraser (1876), fourth African American woman physician in U.S.
  • Robert Jarvik, M.D. ’68, H’83, inventor of the artificial heart

Space Exploration

  • Waleed Abdalati ’86, NASA Chief Scientist
  • Col. Eileen Collins ’78, first female space shuttle pilot and commander
  • Story Musgrave ’58, NASA astronaut, physician, and consultant to Disney’s Imagineering group
  • Sean C. O’Keefe G’78, former administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud G’99, youngest person to fly on the space shuttle, first member of a royal family in space