15 Famous Alumni From UC Santa Barbara


Us current Gauchos have a lot to live up to. Being a UC Santa Barbara alum is already honorable enough, but some UCSB alumni have continued to amaze the world and act as great influences in today’s society. Here are 15 of the most famous alumni from UC Santa Barbara.

1. Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson is most well known for his work as a singer-songwriter. FUN FACT: Jack met his wife at the Ortega Dining Commons at UCSB! In his song “Bubble Toes,” he said their meeting place was the DLG since it rhymed better. He graduated in 1997, with a B.A. in Film Studies.

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2. Michael Douglas

Douglas is a very well known actor and producer. He was accepted at Yale, but decided to attend UCSB instead (take that, Yale). After receiving his B.A. in Drama, he went on to win numerous Academy awards, Emmy awards, and Golden Globe awards.

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3. Jeff Henley

Henley is currently the vice-chairman of Oracle Corporation. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCSB, he received his MBA in Finance from UCLA. Oracle is one of Santa Barbara’s top job recruiters, so thank you Jeff Henley.

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4. Jerry Trainor

Jerry Trainor is best known for his work on Drake and Josh as Crazy Steve (the quirkiest character ever), and on iCarly as Spencer Shay (the big brother everyone wants); both shows aired on Nickelodeon. Before becoming everyone’s favorite star from our childhoods, Trainor graduated from UCSB and received a BFA in acting.

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5. Harvey Levin

After graduating from UCSB with a B.A. in political science, and attending the University of Chicago Law School, Levin came into the public eye after his performance during public debates. He began covering legal issues on TV, and later launched the celebrity news website TMZ!

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6. Alan Williams

Our tallest alumni on this list, coming in at 6’8″, played four seasons of basketball for UCSB and ended up being the all-time leader in rebounds, and second all-time leading scorer. This all-star Gaucho now plays for the Phoenix Suns of the NBA!

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7. José Hernández

This former NASA astronaut received an M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from UCSB. He was a part of the crew for Space Shuttle mission STS-128 and helped develop the first full-field digital mammography imaging system. (This is used in the early detection of breast cancer!)

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8. Steve Aoki

This Grammy-nominated alum is the highest grossing dance artist in North America. He is also the founder of the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, and created his own record label called Dim Mak. He didn’t study music in college, but rather graduated bachelor degrees in feminist studies and sociology.

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9. Reza Aslan

An Iranian-American author, producer, and TV host; Aslan got his PhD in sociology of religions from UCSB. He has written three books that discuss religion, created Aslan Media and BoomGen Studios, and now has his own series on CNN called Believer!

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10. Lois Capps

Listen up folks, this woman has given a lot back to our community. This Santa Barbara native received her master’s degree in education at UCSB. She was a nurse at SB public schools and taught part-time at Santa Barbara City College. She was also the U.S. Representative for California’s 24th congressional district, which includes all SB counties.  You go, Lois!

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11. Katy Tur

Katy Tur is a broadcast journalist who reports for all platforms of NBC News, and is an anchor of MSNBC Live. She graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Philosophy.

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12. Harris Faulkner

Another anchor on this list! Faulkner is a Fox News Channel host and newscaster who graduated with a B.A. in mass communications. She is the anchor of Fox Report, as well as a co-anchor on Outnumbered.

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13. Charissa Thompson

Thompson is not another newscaster, but a sportscaster for Fox Sports and NBC! She is a co-host on the entertainment news show Extra and became the host of Fox Sports Live. She graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Law and Society.

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14. Aja Naomi King

After receiving a B.A. in Acting from UCSB and a MFA from Yale’s School of Drama, this actress starred as Michaela Pratt in the drama series How to Get Away with Murder, in addition to several other TV dramas and movies.

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15. Logan Green

Green graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Business Economics. He went on to become the co-founder and CEO of Lyft! He stated that his inspiration was from growing up in Los Angeles, where he spent his whole life stuck in traffic.

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Honorable Mention: Gwyneth Paltrow

This famous actress, and our favorite food writer, briefly studied Anthropology at UCSB, before dropping out to pursue acting.  Hey, at least she tried out the college life!

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These are 15 of the most notable famous alumni from UC Santa Barbara. Did I miss anyone? Let me know in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Featured image source: pinterest.com


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Kayla Larson

An Economics major at UC Santa Barbara who enjoys writing, the outdoors, movies, and fashion!

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