Famous Alumni from East Coast SAF Schools

21 May 2020

Our partner universities are some of the best in the world and they have the alumni to prove it. Keep reading to see what familiar names have graduated from our East Coast SAF schools.  

Columbia University (New York City, New York) 

Kate McKinnon

If you’ve ever watched Saturday Night Live, you’ll recognize this American actress. She is known for her character work and celebrity impressions. McKinnon graduated from Columbia in 2006 with a degree in Theatre.  

Amelia Earhart

While the famous aviator never actually graduated from Columbia, it’s still pretty cool that she spent a year in a course in medical studies before leaving the university in 1920. As the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, she’s an impressive alumni.  

Barack Obama 

That's right. The 44th president of the United States did his undergraduate at Columbia College, the oldest undergrad college of the University. He graduated in 1983 with a degree in political science with a specialty in international relations. It makes perfect sense with where his career would go!  


American University (Washington, D.C.) 

Nancy Meyers 

While her face might not look familiar, you’ve certainly watched something Nancy Meyers has helped create. She graduated with a degree in journalism in 1970 and would go on to become a writer, producer, and director of a number of big-screen successes. One of her movies is bound to sound familiar: The Holiday, The Parent Trap, What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Intern (just to name a few).  

Jack Douglass 

If you frequent Youtube, you’ll likely recognize this comedian and entertainer. Better known as jacksfilms, Jack Douglass graduated from American University with a film major before gaining internet fame.  

Alice Paul 

Alice Paul was an American suffragist and women’s rights activist who was one of the main leaders in the fight for women’s right to vote in the United States. Paul would go on to earn her law degree from American University in 1922 after the Nineteenth Amendment was passed.  


Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) 

Bill Nye 

Better known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill Nye graduated from Cornell in 1977 with a degree in mechanical engineering before he would become the educational entertainer we know (and love) him to be.  

Toni Morrison 

Toni Morrison was an American novelist and essayist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature. She wrote such classics as Beloved and Song of Solomon, but before writing any of these she graduated from Cornell in 1955.  

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

Along with being the second female justice of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is known for her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights. Ginsburg graduated from Cornell with a degree in government in 1954.  


John Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland) 

Woodrow Wilson 

The 28th president of the United States enrolled in John Hopkins University as a graduate student studying history and political science and would graduate in 1886 with his Ph.D.  

Madeleine Albright 

The first female United States Secretary of State attended John Hopkins University briefly before circumstances left her unable to finish her education here, but for the year of 1962 Madeleine Albright studied international relations at the institution.  

Katherine McNamara 

After starring as Clary Fray in CW’s Shadowhunters, Katherine McNamara would begin an online master’s literature program with the university.  

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

Perhaps you’ve read some of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels or short story collections—Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah, or The Thing Around Your Neck. A winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2008, Adichie has reached much acclaim for her work. But before any of that, she graduated from John Hopkins University in 2003 with a master’s degree in creative writing.


Famous Alumni from East Coast

SAF Schools
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