Featured Alumni

Nobel Prize recipients. MacArthur “Genius” Grant winners. Fulbright scholars. Super Bowl champions. Academy Award winners. Groundbreaking scientists. Innovative entrepreneurs. Political trailblazers.

Wesleyan’s alumni include global changemakers in countless industries and fields, widely recognized for their skills in thinking critically and creatively, and for their commitment to bold, practical idealism that enriches their communities. We are proud of the long line of Cardinals who achieve success in their careers. Read more about a few of our featured alumni.

Leaders

  • Lael Brainard '83

    Major: College of Social Studies
    Awards: National Science Foundation Fellowship, White House Fellowship
    Read: Magazine article
    An American economist, Brainard has served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System since 2014 and was economic adviser to President Clinton.
  • Michael Bennet '87

    Major: History
    Watch: Video
    Bennet represents Colorado in the U.S. Senate; previously he was superintendent of Denver Public Schools and managing director for the Anschutz Investment Company.
  • Michele Roberts '77

    Major: Government

    Read: Magazine article
    Roberts is the executive director of the NBA, the first woman to head a major professional sports union in North America.

  • John Hickenlooper '74, MA'80

    Major: English (BA), Environmental Science (MA)
    Read: Magazine article
    Colorado U.S. Senator Hickenlooper started his career as a geologist before becoming mayor of Denver, and then Colorado's governor.
  • Souleymane Ba '03

    Major: Economics
    Ba is a partner at Helios Investment Partners, a specialist private equity firm with investments in over 30 countries in Africa.
  • Stephanie Ivy Sanford '92

    Major: African American Studies, Government
    Sanford leads West Coast institutional client business for Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
  • Peter Shumlin '79

    Major: Government
    Read: Magazine article
    The governor of Vermont from 2011 to 2017, Shumlin pioneered statewide policies to tackle climate change.
  • Bill Belichick '75

    Major: Economics
    Watch: Video
    The most successful coach in Patriots history, Belichick has led his team to six Super Bowl championships.
  • Laura Walker '79

    Major: History
    Awards: Edward R. Murrow Award
    Read: News article
    The president of Bennington College, Walker aas president and CEO of New York Public Radio for 23 years.

Entertainers

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda '02

    Major: Theater
    Awards: Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Olivier, Pulitzer, Genius

    Watch: Video
    Miranda developed Broadway's In the Heights at Wesleyan, not long before creating Hamilton; additional credits include Moana and Star Wars.

  • Santi White '97

    Major: Music, African American Studies

    Known as singer-songwriter and producer Santigold, White has released three critically acclaimed albums and several popular singles.

  • Beanie Feldstein '15

    Major: Sociology

    Feldstein has acted in movies (Booksmart, Lady Bird), TV (Orange Is the New Black), and on Broadway (Hello, Dolly!).

  • Lynn Chen '98

    Major: Music, Women's Studies
    Awards: Grammy

    Read: News article
    Known for her roles on the film Saving Face and TV's Law and Order, Chen runs a food blog/podcast about body image.

  • Bradley Whitford '81

    Major: Theater
    Awards: Emmy

    Read: News article
    Whitford has starred on such popular TV series as The West Wing, Transparent, and The Handmaid’s Tale.

  • Ben Goldwasser '05 and Andrew VanWyngarden '05

    Major: Music (BG); Music (AV)
    Awards: Grammy

    Read: Magazine article
    Known as the indie-rock band MGMT, Goldwasser and VanWyngarden are multi-instrumentalists.

  • Amanda Palmer '98

    Major: German Studies
    Read: News article
    An inventive musician and writer, Palmer rose to fame in the punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls.
  • Jordan Belfi '00

    Major: Film Studies
    Belfi has acted in such TV series as Entourage, Chicago Fire, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI: Miami.
  • Dar Williams '89

    Major: Religion, Theater
    Read: Magazine article
    Williams is a folk singer-songwriter known for witty, lyrical storytelling.

Influencers

  • Bozoma "Boz" Saint John '99

    Major: African American Studies; English
    Watch: Video
    Saint John is global chief marketing officer at Netflix; her background spans roles at Endeavor, Uber, Apple Music & iTunes, and PepsiCo.
  • Jessica Posner Odede '09 and Kennedy Odede '12

    Major: African American Studies (JPO); Sociology (KO)
    Awards: Echoing Green Fellowship

    Read/Watch: Magazine article and video
    Kennedy and Jessica co-founded Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), which catalyzes transformation in urban slums.

  • John Yang '80

    Major: Government
    Awards: Peabody
    PBS NewsHour correspondent Yang covers the Supreme Court and economic and social issues across the country.
  • Jennifer Finney Boylan '80

    Major: English

    Read: Magazine article
    A writer who contributes to the New York Times' op-ed page, Boylan is also a nationally known advocate for LGBT and human rights.

  • Maria Santana '98

    Major: Psychology
    Listen: Podcast
    An anchor and correspondent for CNN En Español, Santana shines light on breaking news and cultural events.
  • Ariel Levy '96

    Major: English
    Awards: National Magazine Award
    Levy is an author and a staff writer for The New Yorker, known for exploring issues such as gender and sexuality.
  • Catherine Taibi '13

    Major: English
    Taibi launched QuickTake by Bloomberg, a social video news network with over 90 million monthly views across platforms.
  • Rob King '84

    Major: English
    Read: Magazine article
    An ESPN executive, King defines ESPN’s journalistic direction and develops special projects such as the ESPY Awards.
  • Field Yates '09

    Major: Psychology
    Read: Magazine article
    An NFL Insider for ESPN, Yates contributes analysis about NFL news and fantasy football across multimedia platforms.

Creators

  • Glenn Ligon '82

    Major: Art
    Awards: American Academy of Arts and Letters
    Read: News article
    An internationally renowned artist, Ligon's work explores themes such as race, sexuality, and identity.
  • Matthew Weiner '87

    Major: College of Letters
    Awards: Emmy, Golden Globe, Peabody
    Read: Magazine article
    Weiner is the creator of the acclaimed TV series Mad Men, The Sopranos, and The Romanoffs.
  • Jenno Topping '89

    Major: College of Letters
    The head of film and television at Chernin Entertainment, Topping has worked on blockbusters like Hidden Figures, Charlie's Angels, and Dr. Dolittle.
  • Tony Ducret '00

    Major: Economics, Film Studies
    Ducret is director of development at Universal Pictures; previously he produced and wote for networks such as VH1, MTV, BET, and Nat Geo.
  • Timothy Lee '12

    Major: Art Studio, Biology, Neuroscience and Behavior
    Lee's incisive artwork has been exhibited at venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and The Studio Museum in New York.
  • Doug Berman '84

    Major: American Studies
    Awards: Peabody
    Read: Magazine article
    Berma is an NPR executive producer behind the popular radio series Car Talk and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
  • Charlotte Castillo '94

    Major: American Studies, Sociology
    Castillo is a senior advisor at She Se Puede, a digital lifestyle community for Latinas; previously, she led marketing at Latina magazine.
  • Nadja Webb Cogsville '90

    Major: English
    Webb Cogsville is the executive vice president of programming operations and business and legal affairs for BET.

Innovators

  • Majora Carter '88

    Major: Film Studies
    Awards: MacArthur Genius Grant, Peabody Award
    Listen: Podcast
    An advocate for environmental justice and urban revitalization, Carter is founder of the consulting/planning firm the Majora Carter Group.
  • Rahul Dhanda '95

    Major: History
    Read: News article
    Dhanda co-founded Sherlock Biosciences, which launched the first CRISPR product to be authorized by the FDA.
  • Jennifer Chayes '78

    Major: Physics
    Read: News article
    A distinguished inventor and a former Microsoft lab founder, Chayes is an associate provost and dean at UC Berkeley.
  • Marcus B. Chung '98

    Major: English, French Language & Literature
    A corporate social responsibility leader committed to sustainability and workers' rights, Chung is vice president of manufacturing and supply chain at ThirdLove.
  • Ami Doshi '97

    Major: Anthropology
    Doshi founded Opportunity Plus, which supports financial empowerment programs for low-income communities; she is also director of Frontier Investment Management Company.
  • Joshua Boger '73

    Major: Chemistry and Philosophy
    Read: Magazine article
    Boger is the founder and retired CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which developed transformative treatments for HIV, hepatitis C, and cystic fibrosis.
  • Jordan Goldman '04

    Major: English
    Goldman is chief marketing officer of Genesis, a digital currency brokerage; he also founded Unigo, an education data and services marketplace.
  • Ritu Chhatwal '88

    Major: Government
    Chhatwal created the vegan cheese category in India with the launch of Violife products; her startup GreenGourmet Foods is India's first plant-based dairy company.
  • Glenn Cantave '16

    Major: Government
    Cantave founded Movers and Shakers NYC, a nonprofit that utilizes virtual and augmented reality and the creative arts to highlight underrepresented narratives.