Distinguished Black College Graduates And Their Alma Maters

Here's a useful resource from Black Excel for counselors and educators working with African-American students.

This is a partial list of graduates who have gotten a lot of media attention, generally because of "spotlight" careers. Many have excelled in sports, music or entertainment. Some have made historic contributions. Of course, many of our "stars" are unsung. An extended list of their success stories in academia, science, business and beyond could fill a library. This is only a reference starter. Note: some folks have degrees from two schools.

(*denotes an Historically Black College.)


Alcorn State University*
Alex Haley, author of Roots
Medgar Evers, slain civil rights leader

Amherst College
Charles Drew, discovered blood plasma Charles Hamilton, attorney
associated with desegregation cases and debate

Antioch College
Coretta Scott King, wife of our civil rights leader
Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congresswoman, lawyer, educator

Arizona State University
Reggie Jackson, baseball Hall of Famer
Ron Brown, U.S. Secretary of Commerce

Barnard College
Thulani Davis, writer
Ntozake Shange, playwright
June Jordan, poet, writer
Jacqueline Fleming, author

Bates College
Bryant Gumbel, TV news personality

Berea College
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, esteemed author of Mis-Education of the Negro,   scholar

Boston College
Barbara Jordan, professor, Congresswoman, member of the Watergate Committee
Edward Brooke, first Black U.S. Senator (MA)

California State University
Shirley Anne Williams, author, Emmy winner

Carnegie-Mellon University
Blair Underwood, actor

Central State University
Leontyne Price, esteemed opera singer

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania*
------------------------ ----------
Ed Bradley, co-host of "60 Minutes"

City College of the City University of New York
Gen. Colin Powell, highest-ranking officer in U.S. history and
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Clark Altanta University*
Marva Collins, teacher, educator
James Weldon Johnson, poet, author, leading figure of Harlem Renaissance

Colgate University
Adam Clayton Powell, great Congressman and civil rights leader.
George Davis, educator and writer

College of the Holy Cross
Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Columbia University
Franklin A. Thomas, former President of Ford Foundation
Dr. Alvin Pouissant, psychiatrist, Associate Dean of Harvard
 Medical School
Mario Van Peebles, movie producer and director
Langston Hughes, poet
Paul Robeson, actor, civil rights activist

Dartmouth College
Carl McCall, former state senator, Comptroller of New York State

De Pauw University
- ----------------
Benjamin Hooks, former NAACP president

DePaul University (Indiana)
Vernon Jordan, former head of the Urban League

Duke University
S. Dallas Simmons, president of Virginia Union
Grant Hill, NBA basketball star

Earlham College
Manning Marable, author

Fisk University*
W.E.B. DuBois, great educator, author
Nikki Giovanni, poet
Dr. John Hope Franklin, educator, author

Florida A & M University*
Carrie Meek, state senator (FL)
Dr. Fredrick S. Humphries, president of Florida A&M
Alcee Hastings, Congressman
T'Keyah Keymah ("Crystal"), actress
Bob "Bullet" Hayes, track star

Franklin and Marshall College
William H. Gray, former head of the United Negro College Fund

Georgetown University
Patrick A. Ewing, basketball star

Grambling State University*
Paul "Tank" Younger, first Black football player drafted into the NFL
Willie Davis, baseball player
Willis Reed, star basketball player
Doug Williams, football player in NFL

Grinnell College
Herbie Hancock, musician
Donald Stewart, former president of College Board

Hampton University*
Booker T. Washington, national leader, founder of
 Tuskegee University

Harvard University
W.E.B DuBois, educator, writer, co-founder of NAACP

Haverford College
Juan Williams, reporter for the Washington Post, NPR host

Howard University*
David Dinkins, first Black mayor of New York City
Sharon Pratt Kelly, former mayor of Washington, DC
Debbie Allen, dancer, actress
Toni Morrison, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
Roberta Flack, singer
Douglas Wilder, former governor of Virginia
Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice
Jessye Norman, opera diva
Ed Bradley, TV commentator, radio host
Richard Wesley, playwright
Kenneth B. Clark, psychologist, author
Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta, U.S. ambassador
Phylicia Ayers-Allen Rashad, actress
Donny Hathaway, singer
Angela Winbush, singer

Illinois State University
Donald McHenry, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN

Illinois Wesleyan University
Frankie Faison, actor

Indiana University
Isiah Thomas, basketball player and general manager

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania*
------------------------ ----------
Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice
Langston Hughes, world-famous poet
Gil Scott Heron, poet, musician
Kwame Nkrumah, former president of Ghana
Nnamdi Azikiwe, former president of Nigeria

Iowa State University
George Washington Carver, educator, botanist

Johns Hopkins University
Andre Watts, pianist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
------ ------------------------------
Ronald McNair, astronaut
Dr. Shirley Jackson, first Black woman to earn Ph.D. in physics

Miami University of Oxford
Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

Michigan State University
Ernest Green, "Little Rock 9" student
Magic Johnson, NBA basketball star
Bubba Smith, football player

Middlebury College
Ron Brown, U.S. Secretary of Commerce

Millsaps College
Randall Pinkston, TV reporter

Morehouse College*
Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner
Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and
 Human Services
Spike Lee, filmmaker
Lerone Bennett, author, editor of Ebony
Edwin Moses, Olympic gold medalist
Maynard Jackson, former mayor of Atlanta
Julian Bond, former state senator, civil rights leader

Morgan State University*
Earl Graves, publisher of Black Enterprise
Kweisi Mfume, president of NAACP
Deniece Williams, singer
Parren Mitchell, former U.S. Congressman
Samm Art Williams, producer of "Fresh Prince" TV shows
Zora Neale Hurston, novelist

Morris Brown College*
James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

New York University
Dr. Lorraine Hale, physician, founder of Hale House
Constance Baker Motley, first Black female federal judge
Carol Jenkins, TV anchor
Spike Lee, filmmaker
Louis Gossett, Jr., actor
Charles Rangel, U.S. Congressman (Harlem)
Countee Cullen, poet of the Harlem Renaissance

North Carolina A&T University*
Rev. Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader/ presidential candidate
Ron McNair, astronaut

Northwestern University
Johnetta Cole, former president of Spelman College
Daphne Maxwell Reid, actress
Chico Freeman, jazz artist

Oberlin College
Niara Sudarkasa, former president of Lincoln  University
Johnetta Cole, former president of Spelman College
Carl Rowan, syndicated columnist, TV commentator
Avery Brooks, actor

Ohio State University
Archie Griffin, football player, two-time Heisman winner
Faye Wattleton, former president of Planned Parenthood

Ohio University
------ --------
Clarence Page, author, columnist, TV commentator

Pomona College
Mylie Evers, (wife of civil rights martyr Medgar Evers) chair

Purdue University
Leroy Keys, football player
Glen Robinson, NBA basketball player

Rutgers University
Paul Robeson, actor, civil rights activist

St. Louis University
William L. Glay, Sr., Director of United Negro College Fund
Robert Guillaume, actor

Sarah Lawrence College
Alice Walker, Pulitzer novelist, poet
Holly Robinson, actress
Robin Givens, actress

Seattle University
Elgin Baylor, former NBA basketball great
Quincy Jones, musician, movie and TV producer

Southern Illinois University
Charles Johnson, author and editor

Southern University*
Lou Brock, baseball Hall of Famer
Bob Love, all-star basketball player
Harold Carmichael, football star in NFL
Isiah Robertson, football star in NFL
Willie Davenport, baseball player

Spelman College*
Marian Wright Edelman, President Children's
Defense Fund
Marcelite J. Harris, first woman Air Force
brigadier general
Esther Rolle, actress
Rolanda Watts, newscaster

Smith College
Ng'endo Mwangi, first woman physician in Kenya

Syracuse University
Vanessa Williams, singer & actress
Dave Bing, former basketball star, entrepreneur
Darryl Bell, actor ("A Different World")
Angela Robinson, TV news anchor
Suzanne DePasse, TV producer

Stanford University
Mae Jemison, first Black female astronaut
Tiger Woods, professional golfer
Debi Thomas, Olympic bronze-medal winner in figure skating

State University of New York at Purchase
Wesley Snipes, actor

State University of New York at Stony Brook
Lani Guinier, law professor

Swarthmore College
Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts,
 New York University

Temple University
Bill Cosby, comedian, author

Tennessee State University*
Oprah Winfrey, TV talk show host

Texas Southern University*
Barbara Jordan, Congresswoman

Tuskegee University*
Lionel Richie, singer
Ralph Ellison, novelist
Robert Beck ("Iceberg Slim"), author
Dr. Betty Shabazz, professor, widow of Malcolm X
Daniel James, general, U.S. Air Force

United States Naval Academy
David Robinson, professional basketball star

University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
Kareem Abdul Jabbar, professional basketball player
Thomas Bradley, mayor of Los Angeles
Arthur Ashe, professional tennis player, first Black man to win
Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, United Nations diplomat

University of Chicago
Katherine Dunham, famed dancer

University of Iowa
Al Jarreau, singer

University of Kansas
Lynette Woodard, Olympic and all-star basketball player
Wilt Chamberlain, basketball great
Gale Sayers, NFL football star

University of Kentucky
Ruth J. Simmons, first African-American college President
at Smith College

University of Maryland at College Park
Len Elmore, former basketball player, attorney
Mark McEwen, co-anchor, CBS Morning News
Franklin Jenifer, former president of Howard University

University of Massachusetts
Julius Erving ("Dr. J"), basketball great
Natalie Cole, singer, Grammy winner

University of Michigan
James Earl Jones, actor
Ben Carson, neurosurgeon
Jessye Norman, opera great

University of New Mexico
Ed Lewis, publisher of Essence
John A. Lewis, jazz musician (MJQ)

University of Notre Dame
Ann Williams, first AA woman appointed to federal bench

University of Oklahoma
Derrick Minter, dancer, Alvin Ailey Dance Company
Wayman Tisdale, former NBA basketball player

University of Oregon
Ahmad Rashad, TV sportscaster

University of South Carolina
Frank L. Matthews, co-publisher Black Issues in Higher Education
George Rogers, Heisman Trophy winner
Alex English, basketball star

University of Southern California
John Singleton, filmmaker, director

University of Virginia
Wesley C. McClure, president of Virginia State
Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry
Ralph Sampson, former NBA basketball player

Washington University
Walter E. Massey, director of National Science Foundation

Vassar College
Angela Davis, professor, activist

Virginia Union University*
Douglas Wilder, former Governor of Virginia
Charles Oakley, NBA player
A.J. English, NBA player

Wesleyan University
Charles Stone, journalist
Kim Wayans, actress

Williams College
Sterling Brown, poet

Winston-Salem State University*
Earl "the Pearl" Monroe, basketball great

Yale University
Paul Robeson, singer, actor, activist
Ben Carson, neurosurgeon
Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice
Anita Hill, attorney, professor
Angela Bassett, actress
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author, Chair of African Studies, Harvard   University