Rutgers was the home of numerous notable alumni that have become household names since their graduation from the Rut. While some figures’ alma mater is more well known (Ray Rice, Carli Lloyd, Paul Robeson, Devin McCourty) there are equally successful alum who you may not know have attended school on the banks of the Raritan. Here’s a list of some of the most famous people that graduated from Rutgers!
This is a collaborative piece by: Karlen Rubenstein and Temi Adebowale
1. Milton Friedman
If you’ve taken any econ courses, you’ve definitely heard of Milton Friedman. He created theories that are now pillars of micro and macro like. He won a Nobel Prize for his work in 1976.
2. Mark Fields
During his time at Rutgers, Fields majored in econ and then went on to obtain a degree in business administration from Harvard. He has been the CEO of Ford Motor Company since 2014.
3. Duncan L. MacMillan
MacMillan is a co-founder of what is known as Bloomberg L.P., a software company with over 19,000 employees and 192 offices. RU Rah Rah!
4. Kristin Davis
You probably know and love Kristin Davis as Charlotte York in Sex and the City, a show that has been a staple for American men and women since the ‘90s. Davis has also acted in several films, including Couples Retreat.
5. James Gandolfini
The film industry lost a legend in 2013 when James Gandolfini of The Sopranos passed away. Gandolfini was a Rutgers grad and earned a degree in communications.
6. Cappie Pondexter
Pondexter was a point guard on the Rutgers women’s basketball team from 2002-2006, was the second overall draft pick for the WNBA after graduating, and is only the 3rd female basketball player to have her jersey retired at Rutgers.
7. Bob Menendez
Menendez has been representing the Garden State in the Senate since 2006. He attended Saint Peter’s University before getting a degree at Rutgers School of Law in Newark.
8. William F. Rasmussen
Rasmussen was a founder of ESPN, which launched in the ‘70s. His son Scott also helped pioneer the network, and Bill is credited for thinking of the idea to create the show Sports Center.
9. David Stern
Stern was the 4th commissioner of the NBA for thirty years, holding his position from 1984-2014. After graduating from Rutgers, he went on to get a law degree from Columbia.
10. Bernard Marcus
Marcus is a Rutgers alum who co-founded Home Depot and was the company’s first CEO. He has even written a book about the company’s immense success.
Rutgers is known for many things – fat sandwiches, crowded buses, and super fun football games. What most people don’t know about, however, is our super cool alumni. From athletes to actors, Rutgers has produced some of the finest talent that the world has ever seen.
11. Marc Ecko
The fashion designer attended Rutgers School of Pharmacy, but never graduated. In his third year, the school’s dean encouraged him to take a year off to pursue his art. And the rest, as they say, is history.
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#TBT did that really happen? #JorgeLuisBorges AUGUST 20, 2009: Having grown frustrated with the fashion industry, I moved to a mythical place called “Brooklyn” in search of artistic nourishment. Putting ink to skin, I developed a cult following as a tattoo artist. I would often work late hours, not shaving, and inspired the fashionable man-grooming trend that would later be coined “The Hipster Beard”. #IMBACKBITCHES see me at @libertyfairs August 18, 2014 in Vegas.
12. Jane Krakowski
Everyone’s favorite funny girl has been in everything from 30 Rock to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But did you know that the actress got her start at RU?
13. Carli Lloyd
Bet you didn’t think there would be an Olympian on the list. Lloyd played on the Scarlet Knights women’s soccer team and later made it to the World Cup and the Olympics.
14. Just Blaze
Ever jammed to ‘Live Your Life’ by T.I. or ‘Freedom’ by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar? You have Just Blaze to thank. Born Justin Smith, the music producer attended Rutgers for three years before dropping out to pursue his music career.
15. Mohamed Sanu
Another athlete on the list, Sanu played college football at Rutgers before being drafted to the Cincinnati Bengals. He now plays for the Atlanta Falcons.
16. Sheryl Lee Ralph
The actress and singer is something of a trailblazer. Not only has Ralph won a Tony, but when she was at Rutgers she graduated at 19 (!!), making her the youngest woman to ever graduate from Rutgers at that time.
17. Michael S. Gottlieb
Gottlieb may not be the most well-known person on this list, but his medical achievements are what sets him apart from everyone else. Gottlieb is credited for identification of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) as a new disease in 1981. He devoted the rest of his life to HIV/AIDS research.