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


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

  • barronsbarrons 23099 replies1958 threads Senior Member
    Yes, I'm sure you knew everything about them. Thanks for adding nothing meaningful.
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  • GretaGreta 597 replies106 threads Member
    collegealum314, you beat me to it. Linus Pauling graduated from Oregon Agricultural College (which became Oregon State).
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 41548 replies481 threads Senior Member
    Warren Buffett transferred out of Wharton and got his degree from University of Nebraska, if I recall that correctly...
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  • fortifyfortify 1131 replies30 threads Senior Member
    According to Wikipedia that's correct. He transfered to University of Nebraska after 2 years at Wharton
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 41548 replies481 threads Senior Member
    Yup, Wikipedia says so :)

    Here is a list of the famous Huskies:

    List of University of Washington people - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (The president of the top-10 LAC my kid is currently attending is a Husky as well :))
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  • 2010search2010search 26 replies1 threads New Member
    This topic is very timely. I just turned to Yahoo and the front page has on it-"Success after the College Rejection Letter" about famous people who didn't get into the college of their dreams.
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  • missemily516missemily516 695 replies7 threads Member
    Richard Nixon - Whittier College
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  • TreetopleafTreetopleaf 2680 replies41 threads Senior Member
    Ronald Reagan - Eureka (Ill.) College
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 42932 replies2311 threads Super Moderator
    Walter Cronkite - University of Texas
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  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey 4548 replies42 threads Senior Member
    Do people really view UMich, UT, UCLA, UW, probably a few others listed as below the top 50?
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  • noimaginationnoimagination 6953 replies101 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.
    Pauling attended what has now become Oregon State.
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  • Wneckid99Wneckid99 864 replies61 threads Member
    thanks qwerty key haha.. i meant like lower state scchools for sure
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  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad 8506 replies67 threads Senior Member
    Again, it's not the particular college that makes the student successful. The college is just a tool and it's how the student uses that tool to their advantage and the student's own drive and basic capabilities that'll determine whether they're 'successful' or not. I do think we see a bit of a filter with the top 50 or so colleges in that they're comprised of a higher percentage of people who've already demonstrated a great deal of drive and capability but that doesn't mean that one who went to a very low level college or even no college at all couldn't make a success of themselves if they have the drive and basic capability.
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  • moonchildmoonchild 3266 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius .... Trinity College.
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  • repetiorepetio 27 replies3 threads New Member
    Sorry if this is a repeat.

    Christopher Langan (the super-IQ guy from Outliers) went to Reed and then Montana State University but dropped out before graduating.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 41548 replies481 threads Senior Member
    Do people really view UMich, UT, UCLA, UW, probably a few others listed as below the top 50?

    The question said "state schools". OK, nowadays, these are top tier state schools, but were their rankings so high when these famous smart people attended and graduated from them?

    (I had no idea the Nordstroms were UW Huskies. One more reason to shop at their store :))
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  • Paradox7Paradox7 394 replies1 threads Member
    Christopher Langan (the super-IQ guy from Outliers) went to Reed and then Montana State University but dropped out before graduating.

    Chris Langan had the choice between full scholarships at Reed and University of Chicago; he chose Reed (I would wager it isn't "lower level" even though some might disagree) but had to leave because he didn't complete his Financial Aid Application on time one year. He had no other option, but to transfer to his state university which he greatly disliked and found no utility for, so he dropped out and became of all things, a bouncer. In his case, it's clear that he could have had use for a "top level", private college education if he had the money for it, which sadly he didn't. His experiences at Montana State further led to his disillusionment with the higher education system and he decided to leave the system altogether.
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  • cluelessdadcluelessdad 360 replies10 threads Member
    I like this thread as it debunks the elitism often floating around CC. You can check the alumni lists of almost any college and confirm that success comes from personal drive and not degree brandname. I chose Miami (Ohio) as an example since it sometimes gets lukewarm love here at CC:

    Public Policy :

    Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States.
    Maria Cantwell, US Senator (WA)
    Mike DeWine, US Senator (OH)
    Chung Un-chan, current Prime Minister of South Korea
    Michael Oxley, Member of Congress and co-sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    Stan Greenberg, Democratic Party pollster and campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry
    Sidney Souers, First Central Intelligence Agency Director appointed by President Harry S. Truman
    John E. Dolibois, ambassador to Luxembourg and interrogator at the Nuremberg Trials


    Art Clokey, claymation artist and creator of Gumby and Pokey
    Ira Berkow, sports writer, New York Times
    Bill Hemmer, Fox News Channel anchor
    Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize Winner, First African-American U.S. Poet laureate, Consultant to the Library of Congress
    P. J. O'Rourke, conservative satirist
    Bill Sammon, Senior White House Correspondent, Washington Examiner, formerly at The Washington Times; and political analyst for Fox News Channel, and the author of four New York Times bestsellers.
    Whitelaw Reid, Editor-in-chief, New York Tribune
    Dave Hyde, sports columnist
    Darrell M. West, Brown University professor, author, and Brookings Institution political scientist


    C. Michael Armstrong former CEO of Hughes Electronics, Comcast Corporation & AT&T
    Richard T. Farmer, Founder and Chairman of the Cintas Corporation
    Richard Heckert former CEO of DuPont
    Samuel Laws, inventor of the stock ticker on the New York Gold Exchange
    John H. Patterson, founder of NCR (National Cash Register)
    Marvin Pierce, Former President of McCall Publishing, father of former First Lady Barbara Bush, and maternal grandfather of President George W. Bush (funny whence Ivy League elitism springs .... :) )
    Ernest H. Volwiler, former chairman, Abbott Labs and co-inventor, Pentothal (the never-ending search for truth, by any means necessary)


    Donald Barr, professor of Human Ecology at Cornell University and leader of movement to disinvest in South Africa
    Ronald Crutcher, President of Wheaton College
    Grayson L. Kirk, former president, Columbia University
    Henry Mitchell MacCracken, Former Chancellor of New York University
    Mark B. Rosenberg, Chancellor of the State University System of Florida
    Donna Shalala, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for President Bill Clinton, current president of the University of Miami (Florida) and a graduate of the Western College for Women prior to its merger with Miami University
    Darrell M. West, Brown University professor, author, and Brookings Institution political scientist
    Joseph Pomeroy Widney, 2nd President of the University of Southern California, 1st dean of the USC School of Medicine.

    Also, one of the highest % Econ majors => PhDs, although they tend to run Fed-captured to my tastes ....
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  • jym626jym626 58006 replies3043 threads Senior Member
    I wish the thread where titled "famous successful people whe went to state schools"-- As it sounds liek that is really the measuring stick people are using which, IMO, is appropriate.
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  • coureurcoureur 11196 replies190 threads Senior Member
    Famous Harvard professor and Nobel Laureate (for solving the structure of DNA) James Watson - got his bachelors at Indiana U.
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