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Famous Smart People that went to state schools or lower level universities?

Wneckid99Wneckid99 864 replies61 threads Member
edited August 2011 in Parents Forum
Please NO actors, athletes, musicians! This is in response to the "It's ok to be a Harvard reject" article

I mean famous writers, academics, scientists, businessmen, lawyers, politicians, etc!!

And please don't list "Duke University".

List below top 50 Universities/LACs.
edited August 2011
110 replies
Post edited by Wneckid99 on
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Replies to: Famous Smart People that went to state schools or lower level universities?

  • MarinMomMarinMom 626 replies12 threads Member
    Don't know where it falls in the ratings, but DePauw University isn't one we hear about a lot on the West Coast. I only know it as the site of this year's Div III Indoor Track Championships. Among illustrious alumni whose names I recognize, Dan Quayle and Barbara Kingsolver.
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  • VeracityVeracity 222 replies6 threads Junior Member
    One of the greatest Economists of the 20th-21st century. At least for undergrad...

    Milton Friedman - Rutgers Univ. (1932)

    Both the creators of Google. At least for undergrad...

    Larry Page - University of Michigan

    Sergey Brin - University of Maryland (1993)
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  • UgaDawgsUgaDawgs 30 replies9 threads Junior Member
    I think state schools are grossly underrated.

    Look at a school like UVA - it's harder to get into than most Private schools. It's on par with Duke, Notre Dame, etc.
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19701 replies467 threads Senior Member
    Michael Dell dropped out of UTexas.
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  • VeracityVeracity 222 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Neil Armstrong - Purdue University

    "In 1947, Armstrong began studying aerospace engineering at Purdue University. He was only the second person in his family to attend college. He was also accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but the only engineer he knew (who had attended MIT) dissuaded him from attending, telling Armstrong that it was not necessary to go all the way to Cambridge, Massachusetts for a good education."

    - Source: wikipedia
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  • laticheverlatichever 1431 replies91 threads Senior Member
    You can go to the wikipedia page of any state university and see the list of notable alums.

    City College of New York--back in the day "the proletarian Harvard," although since the days of open enrollment (now ended) it fell quite a bit--has graduated more people who went on to PhDs than any other school.

    Among graduates are TEN Nobel Laureates. I don't know if any school can match that.

    Other graduates include Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Felix Frankfurter, Paddy Chayevsky, Ira Gershwin, Stanley Kubrick, Ben Shahn, Alfred Kazin, Bernard Malamud, Jonas Salk, Upton Sinclair, Andrew Grove, and me.
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  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad 8506 replies67 threads Senior Member
    I really think there are too many to list. You might want to do a 'reverse lookup' on this - check out the backgrounds of many corporate leaders, scientists, researchers, politicians, writers, friendly competent person next door, etc. and I think you'll find many who attended top (and non-top) publics and non-HYPS colleges. Likewise, if you could do the reverse lookup on the HYPS grads you'd find many that didn't become famous, rich, or sometimes even successful. It makes sense for many reasons, one of which is what's required stats-wise to even be offered admission to many of these colleges and another that proves it's not the college the makes the person - it's what the individual gets, i.e. extracts, out of their college experience and life in general.
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  • JoisonfireJoisonfire 129 replies4 threads Junior Member
    The current Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis attended Cal Poly Pomona, a state university in California.
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  • Negotiator1225Negotiator1225 46 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Kissinger didn't graduate from City College; he was drafted. All his degrees are from Harvard and he is noted for being one class short of getting straight A's in his undergrad years at Harvard. Also, if you look at top academics many of them did not go to top schools for undergrad but almost all of them went to top schools for grad school.
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  • ctmom2boysctmom2boys - 92 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Ted Turner, got rejected from the colleges he applied to so he never went. He has no degree.
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  • ctmom2boysctmom2boys - 92 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Also I personally know someone who graduated top of his class at Harvard who was a professional failure. Good thing he had a trust fund and didn't need to work.
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  • herandhisMomherandhisMom 558 replies31 threads Member
    Connie Chung, U. of Maryland.
    Condoleezza Rice, U. of Denver.
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  • GourmetmomGourmetmom 2864 replies50 threads Senior Member
    Ted Turner actually attended Brown University and was expelled for an infraction that wouldn't be considered particularly "bad" anymore. He was later given an honorary degree.
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  • freecyclefreecycle 211 replies23 threads Junior Member
    Jeff Taylor, Monster.com founder and graduate of UMASS Amherst
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  • laticheverlatichever 1431 replies91 threads Senior Member
    "Kissinger didn't graduate from City College; he was drafted. All his degrees are from Harvard and he is noted for being one class short of getting straight A's in his undergrad years at Harvard. Also, if you look at top academics many of them did not go to top schools for undergrad but almost all of them went to top schools for grad school."

    Following high school, Kissinger enrolled in the City College of New York, studying accounting. He excelled academically as a part-time student, continuing to work while enrolled. His studies were interrupted in early 1943, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

    What do you mean by top schools for grad schools? You can't mean only the Ivies and Stanford, or MIT or Caltech, since any first tier state university will have its share of notable grad school graduates.
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  • barronsbarrons 23099 replies1958 threads Senior Member
    John Bardeen--two time Nobel winner in physics--Wisconsin
    13 UW alums have won Nobel prizes
    30 have won Pulitzers
    Ceos of Exxon, Yahoo, Cisco, Kimberly Clark, A.C.Nielsen (founder also), Toshiba, Exelon, ESPN,and Rayovac among many others.
    Many filmmakers, TV writers and producers including shows such as David Letterman, MTV, Daily Show, Happy Days, Modern Family, Wings, Larry Sanders, and Miami Vice; movies including Blazing Saddles, Ghost, Airplane, The Magnificent 7, The Thin Blue Line, The Insider, Last of the Mohicans, The Apartment, and many many more.
    Politics--Dick and Linda Cheney, Russ Feingold, President of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Bhutan, and last but not least Alberto Fujimori former Peruvian President.
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  • starbrightstarbright 4549 replies111 threads Senior Member
    So many, where would you start?

    Just grabbed some random people that popped into my head:

    Sanjay Gupta- Neurosurgeon journalist- U of Michigan

    Rahm Emanuel- Politician- Sarah Lawrence

    Steve Jobs- dropped out of Reed

    Random Nobel Prize winners, the first three I clicked on:

    Donald Glaser- Case Institute of Technology

    Elinor Ostrom- UCLA

    Carol Greider- UC Santa Barbara

    Thousands upon thousands....probably the majority.
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  • ilovemycoffeeilovemycoffee 32 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Veracity- UMaryland (College Park) is actually an AMAZING school.. its highly selective
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  • VeracityVeracity 222 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I know at least five people who are dumb as bricks and got in...

    Anyway, UMD IS a state school, which was what the OP was looking for.
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  • collegealum314collegealum314 6683 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Linus Pauling -- some stat school in Oregon, though he went to Caltech for grad school. Pauling was arguably the greatest chemist of the 20th century and was the author of the work, "The Nature of the Chemical Bond." Won 2 Nobel Prizes, chem and peace.
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