Notable AlumniKU Alumni Association »


K.S. "Boots" Adams (1899–1975)

Former president and CEO of Phillips 66 Petroleum Co. Adams Alumni Center, of which he was a major donor, is named for him


Forrest C. "Phog" Allen (1885–1974)

"Father of Basketball Coaching," KU coach (1919–56, national championships 1921, 1922, 1952); creator of NCAA basketball tournament. Coached by James Naismith at KU


Phillip Anschutz

Founder, Qwest Communications, a multimedia corporation, film company Walden Media (Holes, Because of Winn-Dixie, the Chronicles of Narnia series)


Harold Arlin (1896–1986)

Radio pioneer who broadcast the first scheduled program, the results of the 1920 presidential election; first broadcaster to call a baseball game and a college football game, 1921


Sheila Bair

Chairwoman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (2006–11). Recipient, Honorary Degree, 2012


Scott Bakula

Actor (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise)


Etta Moten Barnett (1901–2004)

Actress and singer, first African-American woman to entertain at the White House


Mark Batenic

CEO, IGA, Inc., largest independent grocers affiliation in world with 4,000 stores in 41 nations


Carol Beier

Justice, Kansas Supreme Court (appointed 2003)


Robert F. Bennett (1927–2000)

39th governor of Kansas (1975–79)


David G. Booth

Co-founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors; owner of James Naismith's original 13 rules to basketball


William E. Borah (1865–1940)

Attorney and influential U.S. senator from Idaho (1906–40); 1889 graduate; sponsored bills establishing labor department, Children's Bureau


George L. Brown (1926–2006)

First African-American elected lieutenant governor in the U.S. (1974), and first African-American elected to statewide office in Colorado


Peter Brown

Former president, CEO and chairman of AMC Entertainment Inc., North America's second-largest theater chain


Sam Brownback

46th Governor of Kansas, 2011–; former member of U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives


Anand Burman

Chairman, Dabur India, a $3.1 billion consumer goods company specializing in pharmaceuticals


Francisco Santos Calderón

Former vice president, Republic of Colombia (2002–10)


Cynthia Carroll

CEO of Anglo-American, one of the world's largest mining conglomerates


Wilt Chamberlain (1936–99)

NBA superstar (1959–73), Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers


John E. Christensen

Chancellor, University of Nebraska-Omaha


Evan S. Connell (1924–2013)

Novelist and poet (Mrs. Bridge, Mr. Bridge, Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn)


Linda Zarda Cook

Former executive director of Shell Gas & Power and CEO of Shell Canada


Dale R. Corson (1914–2012)

President, Cornell University (1969–1977), physicist who discovered basic element astatine (AT)


David B. Dillon

Chairman and CEO, Kroger Co.


George Docking (1904–64)

35th governor of Kansas (1957–61)


Robert B. Docking (1925–83)

38th governor of Kansas (1967–75). Son of George Docking


Bob Dole

Kansas senator (1966–96), U.S. Senate majority leader, presidential and vice-presidential nominee. Recipient, Honorary Degree, 2012


Bob Dotson

Award-winning NBC News correspondent and author


David Ewing Duncan

Award-winning science writer, author and commentator


Robert Eaton

Former CEO of Chrysler Corp.


Joe Engle

Former NASA astronaut, Enterprise and Columbia shuttle commander (See also Ronald Evans, Steve Hawley)


Paul R. Ehrlich

Environmental scientist, population expert, author (The Population Bomb), MacArthur Fellow


Ronald Evans

Former NASA astronaut, pilot for Apollo 17 moon mission. (See also Joe Engle, Steve Hawley)


Thomas Frank

Author and political journalist (What's the Matter With Kansas, The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule)


Lorenzo Dow Fuller Jr. (1919–2011)

First African-American host on NBC-TV


Sam Gilliland

Chairman and CEO of Sabre Holdings, owner of Travelocity, the online travel company


Moses Gunn (1929–93)

Stage and film actor, winner Obie Award (Heartbreak Ridge, Roots)


Benjamin D. Hall

Genetic scientist who co-developed a vaccine for hepatitis B


Ann Hamilton

Sculptor, installation artist and MacArthur Fellow


Steve Hawley

Former NASA astronaut, shuttle mission specialist (See also Joe Engle, Ronald Evans)


Erasmus Haworth (1855–1932)

KU professor of geology (1892–1920), founder of Kansas Geological Survey (1894). Haworth Hall is named for him


Kevin Helliker

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. (See also Colleen McCain Nelson, Gerald Seib, William Allen White)


David Hillis

Evolutionary biologist and MacArthur Fellow (1999)


Jane Dee Hull

24th governor of Arizona (1997–2003)


Dave Hunke

Chairman, president and publisher, USA Today (2009–12)


William Inge (1913–73)

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Picnic), Oscar Award-winning screenwriter (Splendor in the Grass)


Wes Jackson

Environmental historian; president of the Land Institute, Salina, Kan., a research center on sustainable agriculture; MacArthur Fellow (1992)


Bill James

Baseball sabermetrician and historian (Bill James Baseball Abstracts)


Don Johnson

Actor (Miami Vice, Nash Bridges), singer, producer


Nancy Landon Kassebaum

First female U.S. senator (1979–97) elected in own right without having been preceded in office by her husband


Kenton W. Keith

U.S. ambassador to Quatar, 1992–95


Paul Keim

Biology professor, world's leading expert in anthrax DNA fingerprinting


Clarence Kelley (1911–97)

Federal Bureau of Investigation director (1973–78)


Rod Keenan

Noted milliner whose men's hat collections are sold internationally


Rebecca Kolls

Gardening expert (HGTV's Rebecca's Garden, ABC's Good Morning America)


Bill Kurtis

Journalist, TV producer and anchor (CBS Morning News, A&E cable network)


Lee Kyung-sook

President of Sookmyung Women's University, South Korea


Doug Lamborn

Member, U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District, Colorado


Alf Landon (1887–1987)

26th Kansas governor (1933–37) and 1936 Republican presidential nominee


Neil LaBute

Film director, screenwriter, playwright (The Wicker Man, Nurse Betty, Death at a Funeral, In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things)


Anne Levinson

Former co-owner of WNBA team the Seattle Storm


Delano Lewis

National Public Radio CEO (1992–98) and ambassador to South Africa (1999–2001)


Clyde Lovelette

Member, 1952 NCAA championship basketball team; first player in history to be a member of NCAA, Olympic, and NBA championship teams


Deane W. Malott (1898–1996)

8th chancellor of KU, 6th president of Cornell University. Malott Hall is named for him


Wayne E. Meyer (1926–2009)

Rear admiral, U.S. Navy; engineer known as the "Father of Aegis," the Navy's primary air-defense weapon system


Billy Mills

Only American athlete to win the Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meters (1964)


David McClain

President emeritus, University of Hawaii (2004–09)


James A. McClinton

First African-American mayor of Topeka, Kan. (2004–05)


Brian McClendon

Google Earth vice president for geo-products, made Lawrence and KU the center of Google Earth


Elmer V. McCollum (1879–1967)

Biochemist and nutritionist who discovered vitamins A, B, and D. McCollum Residence Hall is named for him and his brother Burton, noted electrical engineer


John B. McLendon Jr. (1915–99)

First African-American basketball coach at a predominantly white university (Cleveland State University) and first African-American head coach in professional sports (Cleveland Pipers)


Lou Montulli

Co-founder of Netscape; co-authored Lynx text web browser while at KU; creator of HTTP cookies, the blink tag, server push and client pull, and HTTP proxying


Dennis Moore

Member, U.S. House of Representatives (1999–2011)


Jerry Moran

U.S. Senator representing Kansas, 2011–. Former member of U.S. House.


Franklin W. Murphy (1916–94)

9th chancellor of KU, chancellor of University of California, Los Angeles. Murphy halls on the Lawrence campus and at the KU Medical Center are named for him


Alan Mulally

President and CEO of Ford Motor Co. (link to video) Recipient, Honorary Degree, 2012.


Janet Murguia

President, National Council of La Raza, largest U.S. Hispanic organization


Colleen McCain Nelson

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. (See also Kevin Helliker, Gerald Seib, William Allen White.)


Chester Nez

One of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, who during World War II transmitted U.S. military messages in their native language in a code the Japanese never broke


Lawton Nuss

Chief Justice Kansas Supreme Court (appointed 2002)


Al Oerter

4 consecutive Olympic gold medals in discus throw (1956–68), two-time world record holder


Sara Paretsky

Best-selling mystery writer of the V.I. Warshawski series


Mark Parkinson

45th Kansas governor (2009–11)


Mandy Patinkin

Actor and singer (Yentl, The Princess Bride; TV's Chicago Hope, Criminal Minds)


Artur Pizarro

Concert pianist


William Powell (1892–1984)

Hollywood movie star of the 1930s, best known for the Thin Man series


Charles "Buddy" Rogers

Silent screen star whose 1927 movie Wings was first to win "best picture" Oscar; married Mary Pickford


Eric Rosen

Justice, Kansas Supreme Court (appointed 2005)


Thomas Rudkin

Co-inventor of the software program PowerPoint


Paul Rudd

Actor (Clueless, Knocked Up, TV's Friends)


Roseann Runte

First woman president of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario


Adolph Rupp (1901–77)

Basketball coach, University of Kentucky (1930–72); coached by Forrest C. "Phog" Allen


Jim Ryun

Three-time U.S. track Olympian and world-record miler, silver medalist (1968); former member of U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas (1996–2007)


Pahol Sanganetra

Deputy Permanent Secretary of Defense of Thailand


Mathana Santiwat

President, Bangkok University in Thailand


Juan Manuel Santos

President, Republic of Colombia


Luis Santos

CEO of Casa Editorial El Tiempo media company in Colombia; holdings include the national newspaper El Tiempo


Gale Sayers

Football running back (Chicago Bears 1965–71), member NFL Hall of Fame


Kathleen Sebelius

U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, 2009–; 44th governor of Kansas (2003–09)


Gerald Seib

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. (See also Kevin Helliker, Colleen McCain Nelson, William Allen White)


Douglas Shane

Pilot, director of flight operations for SpaceShipOne, first private manned space program


Harry F. Sinclair (1876–1956)

Founder, Sinclair Oil


Bruce A. Smith

CEO of major oil refiner Tesoro (1995–2010)


Dean Smith

Basketball coach, University of North Carolina (1961–97); member, 1952 KU national championship men's basketball team. Coached by Forrest C. "Phog" Allen


Vernon L. Smith

Nobel Prize laureate in economics (2002)


Marla Spivak

Entomologist who studies bee colony health, MacArthur Fellow


Oscar S. Stauffer (1886–1982)

Journalist, editor, founder Stauffer Communications


Walter R. Stubbs (1858–1929)

18th governor of Kansas


Deanell Reece Tacha

Retired chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit


Clyde Tombaugh (1906–97)

Astronomer who discovered the planet Pluto (1930)


Rosalie Wahl

Lawyer, first woman justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court


Kent Whealy

Co-founder of the Seed Savers Exchange and a MacArthur Fellow recipient


William Allen White (1868–1944)

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, editor of the Emporia Gazette, and author; KU School of Journalism & Mass Communication named for him. (See also Kevin Helliker, Colleen McCain Nelson, Gerald Seib)


Lynette Woodard

Major college women's basketball career scoring leader, Olympic gold medalist (1984), first female member of the Harlem Globetrotters


William F. Woo (1936–2006)

First Asian-American to be editor of a major daily American newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Sir Robert Worcester

Market research pioneer, founder of Market & Opinion Research International (MORI), chancellor of the University of Kent


Kevin Yoder

Member, U.S. House of Representatives (2011–)