List of University of Michigan alumni


Nobel laureates



Art, architecture, and design

See List of University of Michigan arts alumni

Arts and entertainment

See List of University of Michigan arts alumni


A campus plaza was named for McDivitt and White in 1965 to honor their accomplishments on the Gemini IV spacewalk. (At the time of its dedication, the plaza was near the engineering program's facilities, but the College of Engineering has since been moved. The campus plaza honoring them remains.) Two NASA space flights have been crewed entirely by University of Michigan degree-holders: Gemini IV by James McDivitt and Ed White in 1965 and Apollo 15 by Alfred Worden, David Scott (honorary degree) and James Irwin in 1971. The Apollo 15 astronauts left a 45-word plaque on the moon establishing its own chapter of the University of Michigan Alumni Association.[2]

Belles lettres

See List of University of Michigan arts alumni


See List of University of Michigan business alumni

Churchill Scholarship or Marshall Scholarship

Churchill Scholarships are annual scholarships offered to graduates of participating universities in the United States and Australia, to pursue studies in engineering, mathematics, or other sciences for one year at Churchill College in the University of Cambridge.

  • 2011–2012: David Montague, Pure Mathematics
  • 2009–2010: Eszter Zavodszky, Medical Genetics
  • 2007–2008: Lyric Chen, BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Michigan, Marshall Scholar 2007
  • 2006–2007: Charles Crissman, Pure Mathematics
  • 2005–2006: Christopher Hayward, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
  • 2005–2006: Jacob Bourjaily, graduated with honors, degree in Mathematics, Physics Marshall Scholar 2005
  • 1996–1997: Amy S. Faranski, Engineering
  • 1993–1994: Ariel K. Smits Neis, Clinical Biochemistry
  • 1990–1991: David J. Schwartz, Chemistry
  • 1989–1990: Eric J. Hooper, Physics
  • 1987–1988: Michael K. Rosen, Chemistry
  • 1985–1986: Laird Bloom, Molecular Biology
  • 1984–1985: Julia M. Carter, Chemistry
  • 1979–1980: David W. Mead, Engineering, Chemical

Computers, engineering, and technology

Turing and Grace Murray Hopper Award winners

Criminals, murderers, and infamous newsmakers

  • François Duvalier (Public Health, 1944–45), repressive dictator, excommunication from the Catholic Church; estimates of those killed by his regime are as high as 30,000
  • Theodore Kaczynski (Ph.D. 1967), better known as the Unabomber, one of UM's most promising mathematicians; earned his Ph.D. by solving, in less than a year, a math problem that his advisor had been unable to solve; abandoned his career to engage in a mail bombing campaign
  • Jack Kevorkian (MED: MD Pathology 1952), guilty of second-degree homicide after committing euthanasia by administering a lethal injection to Thomas Youk; spent eight years in prison
  • Nathan F. Leopold, Jr., thrill killer of Leopold and Loeb, transferred from Michigan in 1922 to the University of Chicago, before murdering 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks
  • Richard A. Loeb (BA 1923), thrill killer of Leopold and Loeb, youngest graduate in the University of Michigan's history, murdered 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks
  • Herman Webster Mudgett, a.k.a. H.H. Holmes (MED: MD 1884), 19th-century serial killer; one of the first documented American serial killers; confessed to 27 murders, of which nine were confirmed; actual body count could be as high as 250; took an unknown number of his victims from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair; his story was novelized by Erik Larson in his 2003 book The Devil in the White City[3]


University presidents

Fiction, nonfiction

See List of University of Michigan arts alumni.

Fictional Wolverines


Journalism, publishing, and broadcasting

Law, government, and public policy

MacArthur Foundation award winners

As of 2019, 28 Michigan alumni — 17 undergraduate students and 11 graduate students — have been awarded a MacArthur fellowship.

  • James Blinn (BS Physics 1970; MSE 1972; Communications Science 1970; MS Information and Control Engineering 1972)
  • Caroline Walker Bynum (BA 1962), Medieval scholar; MacArthur Fellow
  • Eric Charnov (BS 1969), evolutionary ecologist
  • William A. Christian (Ph.D. 1971), religious studies scholar
  • Shannon Lee Dawdy (M.A. 2000, Ph.D. 2003), 2010 fellowship winner; assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago
  • Philip DeVries (B.S. 1975), biologist
  • William H. Durham (Ph.D. 1973), anthropologist
  • Andrea Dutton (MA, Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Florida
  • Aaron Dworkin (BA 1997, M.A. 1998), Fellow, founder, and president of Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, which strives to increase the number of African-Americans and Latinos having careers in classical music
  • Steven Goodman (BS 1984), adjunct research investigator in the U-M Museum of Zoology's bird division; conservation biologist in the Department of Zoology at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History
  • David Green (B.A. 1978; MPH 1982), Executive Director of Project Impact
  • Ann Ellis Hanson (BA 1957; MA 1963), visiting associate professor of Greek and Latin
  • John Henry Holland (MA 1954; Ph.D. 1959), professor of electrical engineering and computer science, College of Engineering; professor of psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Vonnie McLoyd (MA 1973, Ph.D. (1975), developmental psychologist
  • Denny Moore (BA), linguist, anthropologist
  • Nancy A. Moran (Ph.D. 1982), evolutionary biologist; Yale professor; co-founder of the Yale Microbial Diversity Institute
  • Dominique Morisseau (BFA 2000) is an American playwright and actor from Detroit, Michigan
  • Cecilia Muñoz (BA 2000), Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Dimitri Nakassis (BA 1997), a 2015 MacArthur Fellow; joined the faculty of the University of Toronto in 2008; currently an associate professor in the Department of Classics
  • Richard Prum (Ph.D. 1989), William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology; Head Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University
  • Mary Tinetti (BA 1973; MD 1978), physician; Gladys Phillips Crofoot Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University; Director of the Yale Program on Aging
  • Amos Tversky (Ph.D.. 1965), psychologist
  • Karen K. Uhlenbeck (BA 1964), mathematician
  • Jesmyn Ward (MFA 2005), writer of fiction
  • Julia Wolfe (BA 1980), classical composer
  • Henry Tutwiler Wright (BA 1964), Albert Clanton Spaulding Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology; Curator of Near Eastern Archaeology in the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan; 1993 MacArthur Fellows Program
  • Tara Zahra (MA 2002; Ph.D. 2005); fellow with the Harvard Society of Fellows (2005–2007) prior to joining the faculty of the University of Chicago; 2014 MacArthur Fellow
  • George Zweig (BA 1959), physicist who conceptualized quarks ("aces" in his nomenclature)


Manhattan project

A number of Michigan graduates or fellows were involved with the Manhattan Project, chiefly with regard to the physical chemistry of the device.

  • Robert F. Bacher, Ph.D., member of the Manhattan Project; professor of physics at Caltech; president of the Universities Research Association
  • Lawrence Bartell before he had finished his studies he was invited by Glenn Seaborg to interview for a position working on the Manhattan Project. He accepted the job and worked on methods for extracting plutonium from uranium.
  • Lyman James Briggs was an American engineer, physicist and administrator.
  • Donald L. Campbell was an American chemical engineer.
  • Taylor Drysdale earned master's degrees in nuclear physics and mathematics from the University of Michigan, joined the U.S. military, worked on the Manhattan Project, and retired from the U.S. Air Force as a colonel.
  • Arnold B. Grobman Grobman began his post-secondary education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning his bachelor's degree in 1939. From 1944 to 1946, he was a Research Associate on the Manhattan Project, later publishing "Our Atomic Heritage" about his experiences.
  • Herb Grosch received his B.S. and PhD in astronomy from the University of Michigan in 1942. In 1945, he was hired by IBM to do backup calculations for the Manhattan Project working at Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University.
  • Ross Gunn was an American physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II.
  • Isabella L. Karle, was x-ray crystallographer
  • Jerome Karle was an American physical chemist.
  • James Stark Koehler was an American physicist, specializing in metal defects and their interactions. He is known for the eponymous Peach-Koehler stress formula.
  • Emil John Konopinski (1933, MA 1934, Ph.D. 1936), patented a device that made the first hydrogen bomb with Dr. Edward Teller; member of the Manhattan Project
  • John Henry Manley was an American physicist who worked with J. Robert Oppenheimer at the University of California, Berkeleybefore becoming a group leader during the Manhattan Project.
  • Elliott Organick chemist, Manhattan Project, 1944-1945;
  • Carolyn Parker was a physicist who worked from 1943 to 1947 on the Dayton Project, the plutonium research and development arm of the Manhattan Project.
  • Franklin E. Roach was involved in high explosives physics research connected with the Manhattan Project
  • Nathan Rosen was an American-Israeli physicist noted for his study on the structure of the hydrogen atom and his work with Albert Einstein and Boris Podolsky on entangled wave functions and the EPR paradox.
  • Frank Spedding (1925), chemist; developed an ion exchange procedure for separating rare earth elements, purifying uranium, and separating isotopes; Guggenheim award winner
  • Arthur Widmer was attached on a three-year stint in 1943 as one of the Kodak researchers assigned to the Manhattan Project in Berkeley, California and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as an analytical chemists developing methods of uranium analysis, which led to the development of the atomic bomb.

Medicine and dentistry



  • Bill Ayers (BA 1968), co-founder of the radical Weathermen
  • Rick Bayless (doctoral student, linguistics), chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine with modern interpretations; known for his PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time
  • Benjamin Bolger (BA 1994), holds what is said to be the largest number of graduate degrees held by a living person
  • Mamah Borthwick (BA 1892), mistress of architect Frank Lloyd Wright who was murdered at his studio, Taliesin
  • Napoleon Chagnon (Ph.D.), anthropologist, professor of anthropology
  • Rima Fakih (BA), 2010 Miss USA
  • Geoffrey Fieger (BA, MA), attorney based in Southfield, Michigan
  • Robert Groves (Ph.D. 1975), 2009 Presidential nominee to head the national census; nomination stalled by Republican opposition to use of "sampling" methodology, which Groves had already stated would not be used
  • Janet Guthrie (COE: BSc Physics 1960), inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006; first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500; still is the only woman to ever lead a Nextel Cup race; top rookie in five different races in 1977 including the Daytona 500 and at Talladega; author of autobiography Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle
  • Alireza Jafarzadeh, whistle-blower of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program when he exposed in August 2002 the nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak, and triggered the inspection of the Iranian nuclear sites by the UN for the first time; author of The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis
  • Carol Jantsch (BFA 2006), the sole female tuba player on staff with a major U.S. orchestra, believed to be the first in history; at 21, the youngest member of the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Morris Ketchum Jessup (MS Astronomy), author of ufological writings; played role in "uncovering" the so-called "Philadelphia Experiment"
  • Adolph Mongo (BGS 1976), political consultant
  • Jerry Newport (BA Mathematics), author with Asperger syndrome whose life was the basis for the 2005 feature-length movie Mozart and the Whale; named "Most Versatile Calculator" in the 2010 World Calculation Cup
  • Jane Scott, rock critic for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; covered every major local rock concert; until her retirement in 2002 she was known as "The World’s Oldest Rock Critic;" influential in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland[20]
  • Michael Sekora (BS 1977), founder and director of Project Socrates, the intelligence community's classified program that was tasked with determining the cause of America's economic decline[21][22]
  • Robert Shiller (BA 1967), economist; author of Irrational Exuberance
  • Jerome Singleton (COE: IEOR), Paralympic athlete, competing mainly in category T44 (single below knee amputation) sprint events
  • Jerald F. ter Horst (BA 1947), briefly President Ford's press secretary


  • Larry Brilliant (SPH: MPH 1977, Economic Development and Health Planning), head of Google Foundation (holds assets of $1Bn); co-founder of the Well; in 1979 he founded the Seva Foundation, which has given away more than $100 million; CEO of SoftNet Systems Inc., a global broadband Internet services company in San Francisco that at its peak had more than 500 employees and $600 million capitalization
  • Mark Malloch Brown (MA), Chef de Cabinet, no.2 rank in the United Nations system; Deputy Secretary-General
  • John Melville Burgess (BA 1930, MA 1931, Hon DHum 1963), diocesan bishop of Massachusetts and the first African American to head an Episcopal diocese[23]
  • Stephen Goldsmith (LAW: JD), Marion County district attorney for 12 years; two-term mayor of Indianapolis (1992–1999); appointed senior fellow at the Milken Institute (economic think tank) in 2006; his work in Indianapolis has been cited as a national model
  • Lisa Hamilton (LAW: JD), named in 2007 president of the UPS Foundation; previously its program director
  • Bill Ivey (BA 1966), chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts 1998–2001, credited with restoring the agency's credibility with Congress; appointed by President Clinton
  • Bob King (BA 1968), President of the UAW
  • Rajiv Shah (AB), former director of agricultural development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, nominated in 2009 as chief scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture and undersecretary of agriculture for research, education and economics; Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development
  • Jack Vaughn, United States Peace Corps Director
  • John George Vlazny (MA 1967), Roman Catholic prelate; Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland
  • Mark Weisbrot (Ph.D., economics), economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.; co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis

Pulitzer Prize winners

As of 2018, 36 of Michigan's matriculants have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize. By alumni count, Michigan ranks fifth (as of 2018) among all schools whose alumni have won Pulitzers.

Rhodes Scholars


National Medal of Science Laureates/National Medal of Technology and Innovation


See List of University of Michigan sporting alumni


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  30. "Reaching Beyond What You Know" (PDF).

NOTE: The University of Michigan Alumni Directory is no longer printed, as of 2004. To find more recent information on an alumnus, you must log into the Alumni Association website to search their online directory.

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