San Diego State University is well-known for their business program and football team. Surprisingly, SDSU has also appealed to the pop culture world too. For example, the exterior shots of Rancho Carne High School from the hit movie Bring it On (2000), was mainly filmed on SDSU campus. Furthermore, the Aztec family has an impressive list of athletes, entertainers, scientists, business men and women, writers, and educators who have studied at SDSU. There are so many alumni’s on the list but today, I’m going to share 15 famous alumni’s you didn’t know attended San Diego State University. Go Aztecs!
Dr. Ellen Ochoa is famously known as the first Hispanic woman to go to space in 1993. She was also the 11thdirector of the Johnson Space Center too. Dr. Ellen Ochoa has earned a bachelor degree in physics from San Diego State University. As for her master degree and doctorate in electrical engineering, she earned those two degrees at Stanford University.
Andy Rathbone majored in comparative literature and graduated with his BA in 1986. He has been the author of …for Dummies book for Windows Microsoft. For example, one of his recent works was “Windows 10 for Dummies, Third Edition.”
Tony Gwynn, also known as “Mr. Padre,” was a professional baseball player who played for the San Diego Padres. Tony Gwynn has also played college baseball and basketball at SDSU. Gwynn is considered as one of the most legendary baseball players in San Diego.
Robert O. Peterson
Whether you’ve heard of Robert O. Peterson or not, you’ve most likely have heard of his famous fast food restaurant. Peterson was the founder of Jack in the Box. He was also the man who popularized the fast food drive thru too. Peterson first attended SDSU before he moved on to UCLA to graduate with his bachelor degree.
Ralph Rubio is the co-founder of the well-known restaurant Rubio’s. Rubio’s first trip to Mexico was the beginning of his love for fish tacos. Rubio also graduated SDSU with a degree in Liberal Studies with a Spanish minor.
Julie Kavner graduated with a degree in Drama in 1973 at SDSU. One of her most notable roles was voicing Marge Simpson from the animated sitcom The Simpsons. Kavner has also won two Primetime Emmy Awards too.
Russell (Russ) Weiner founded the energy drink “Rockstar” in 2001. Weiner graduated San Diego State University with a BA in political science.
If you love classic Hollywood films then you’ve probably heard of the famous actress Faye Emerson. She was famously known as “The First Lady of Television.” She was also discovered by an agent from Warner Brothers in 1941.
The lead singer and guitarist of Pierce the Veil studied graphic design when he was a student at SDSU. After being signed to Equal Vision Records with his former band “Before Today,” he decided to leave SDSU to pursue his music career.
Kevin Faulconer is famously known as the mayor of San Diego. He has been the mayor of San Diego since 2014. When Faulconer was a student at SDSU, he was the president of Associated Students from 1989-1990. He also graduated SDSU with a degree in political science.
Courtney Friel is currently a news anchor for KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, California. She has been nominated for an Emmy award and she has worked for Fox News for six years.
If you’ve watched To Kill a Mockingbird before then you’ll probably know that Gregory Peck played the character, Atticus Finch. When Peck was still a student at SDSU, his public speaking professor urged him to pursue an acting career. Due to his shyness, he chose not to be involved in acting until he attended UC Berkley. At UC Berkley he was studying pre-med. Peck has also won five Academy Awards for Best Actor.
K.D Aubert is an actress, fashion model, and singer. Aubert has been on the hit TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In the TV show, she played Nikki Wood for two episodes. She was also in the movie Hollywood Homicide, starring Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. Aubert has also modeled for Victoria’s Secret and Noxzema
Susanna Thompson is an American actress who’s well-known for her roles in Little Giant (1994),Once and Again (1999-2002),and The CW Arrow. Thompson has also participated in one of the first televised same-sex kissing scenes in the United States. This well-known scene was from an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Kathy Najimy is a talented actress who played the famous character Mary Sanderson from the movie Hocus Pocus (1993). She is also the voice behind the character Peggy Hill from King of the Hill. Najimy has also been an activist for AIDs and for the LGBTQ+ community for over 35 years.
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Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.