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 our alumni awards!

  • Sarah Loguen Fraser (1876), fourth African American woman physician in U.S.
  • Cornelia Maria Clapp (G 1889), a leading scholar in marine zoology
  • Stephen Crane (1891), author of The Red Badge of Courage
  • Dorothy Thompson (1914), trailblazing journalist
  • Sol LeWitt ’49, renowned visual artist
  • Hilton J. Kramer ’50, H’76, former New York Times art critic; founder, editor, and publisher of The New Criterion
  • Jerry Stiller ’50, stage, screen, and television actor
  • Brad Anderson ’51, creator of syndicated comic panel, Marmaduke
  • Dick Clark ’51, television icon, creator and host of American Bandstand
  • Jim Brown ’57, football star, actor, social activist
  • Warren Kimble ’57, internationally known Vermont-based contemporary folk artist
  • Ruth Johnson Colvin ’59, H’84, founder of Literacy Volunteers of America, recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Frank Langella ’59, award-winning stage and film actor
  • Bruce Fowle ’60, founding principal, Fox & Fowle Architects
  • Richard Hayden ’60, principal and chairman, Swanke Hayden and Connell architectural firm
  • Ted Koppel ’60, former anchor of ABC News Nightline; managing editor, Discovery Channel
  • Joyce Carol Oates ’60, H’00, award-winning novelist
  • Ernie Davis ’61, first African American to win the Heisman Trophy
  • Molly Corbett Broad ’62, former president, University of North Carolina; president, American Council on Education
  • Marvin Lender ’63, former president, Lender’s Bagels
  • Betsey Johnson ’64, fashion designer
  • Lou Reed ’64, musician, singer for the Velvet Underground
  • David Bing ’66, H’06, former mayor of Detroit, former NBA player, Basketball Hall of Fame
  • 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.
  • Steve Kroft ’67, co-editor and news correspondent for 60 Minutes
  • Floyd Little ’67, Pro Football Hall of Famer
  • Joseph Biden, L’68 former vice president of the United States, recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • L. Ross Love ’68, president and CEO, Blue Chip Enterprises
  • Diane Camper ’68, assistant editorial page editor, Baltimore Sun
  • Louis Giuliano ’68, former president and CEO, ITT Industries; senior advisor, The Carlyle Group
  • Robert Jarvik, M.D. ’68, H’83, inventor of the artificial heart
  • Kathrine V. Switzer ’68, G’72, runner and advocate for women’s sports
  • Donna Shalala G’70, H’87, president of the Clinton Foundation, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Gianfranco Zaccai ’70, design strategist, president, and CEO of Design Continuum Inc.
  • Elsa Reichmanis ’72, G’75, director of materials research, Lucent Bell Labs
  • Bill Viola ’73, internationally recognized video artist
  • Bob Costas ’74, sports announcer, NBC, HBO
  • James B. Cunningham ’74, former U.S. ambassador
  • Steven Rothman G’74, former member of Congress
  • Charles Baquet G’75, director, Center for Intercultural and International Programs at Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Jim Morin ’75, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, the Miami Herald
  • Robin Toner ’76, first woman national political correspondent for The New York Times
  • John Sykes ’77, president of network development, MTV Network
  • Lt. Col. Eileen Collins ’78, first female space shuttle commander
  • Adam Gross ’79, principal, Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects
  • Elizabeth Strout ’82, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
  • Aaron Sorkin ’83, H’12, Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning playwright and screenwriter
  • Robb Armstrong ’85, creator of Jump Start syndicated comic strip, children’s author
  • Emme Aronson ’85, supermodel, television host, best-selling author, clothing designer
  • Vanessa L. Williams ’85, singer/actress, first African American crowned Miss America
  • Elliott Portnoy ’86, global chief executive officer of Dentons
  • George Saunders G’88, SU professor of English and best-selling author
  • Mike Tirico ’88, NBC sportscaster
  • John Mandyck ’89, G’92, vice president of government and international relations, Carrier Corp
  • Denise Cramsey ’90, producer, House Wars; former executive producer, Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
  • Bronagh Mullan Hanley ’90, director of consumer public relations, Netflix
  • Thom Felicia ’92, interior design expert, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
  • Tom Everett Scott ’92, actor, Saved, That Thing You Do! An American Werewolf in Paris
  • Taye Diggs ’93, stage, screen, and television actor
  • Cissy Elm ’94, director, HIV/AIDS Program of the American Indian Community House in New York City and Syracuse
  • Arielle Tepper Madover ’94, Broadway and film producer
  • Dennis Crowley ’98, founder of the social networking site Foursquare
  • Donovan McNabb ’98, former professional football player, sports analyst
  • Peter Hebert ’99, co-founder and CEO, Lux Research; co-founder and managing partner, Lux Capital
  • His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud G’99, youngest person to fly on the space shuttle
  • Eli Saslow ’04, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post
  • Jessie Mueller ’05, Tony Award-winning actress
  • Collin O’Mara G’06, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation