Featured Alumni

As soon as you join the Wesleyan community, you become part of a rich and diverse network of distinguished alumni that includes industry leaders in medicine, business and technology; Grammy, Pulitzer and Tony award winners; and global activists fighting for access and equality. Meet just a handful of Wesleyan's many notable alumni.

Lin-Manuel Miranda '02

Lin-Manuel Miranda '02

Artist
Composer/lyricist/actor Miranda's newest play, the highly acclaimed Hamilton, opened on Broadway in late 2015 and has won countless awards in the several months since, including a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. In 2008 Miranda's In the Heights, which was first staged at Wesleyan, won four Tony Awards, as a well as a Grammy for Best Original Broadway Cast Album. Miranda has also written, directed and acted in film; frequently appeared in roles on TV; and collaborated with celebrated Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim.
  • Tony
  • Genius
  • Grammy
John Hickenlooper '74

John Hickenlooper '74

Governor of Colorado
After working as an oilfield geologist and owner/operator of Colorado's first brewpub, Hickenlooper entered public service as mayor of Denver and now serves as Colorado's governor.
Majora Carter '88

Majora Carter '88

Urban Revitalization Strategist
As executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, Carter preached an environmental approach to urban revitalization—"Green the ghetto"—that resulted in a renaissance of that New York City neighborhood, where she grew up. For those efforts, she was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant. Now her consulting/planning firm, Majora Carter Group, applies the green economic development message nationwide.
  • Genius
Matthew Weiner '87

Matthew Weiner '87

Creator, Director and Writer
As a creator, executive producer and writer of Mad Men and writer and supervising producer for The Sopranos—two of TV's most successful and critically lauded shows—Weiner has amassed nine Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes. In 2011, Time named him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, while The Atlantic dubbed him one of its 21 Brave Thinkers.
  • Emmy
  • Golden Globe
Santigold '97

Santigold '97

Musician
Multi-genre singer-songwriter and record producer Santigold has released three critically acclaimed albums and several popular singles, while working with a diverse group of celebrated musicians.
John Yang '80

John Yang '80

News Correspondent
Now with the PBS NewsHour, Yang was most recently an NBC News correspondent and regularly contributed reports and commentary to the nework's Nightly News and Today programs, plus MSNBC. Earlier, he covered the White House and Congress for the Washington Post, before moving into television with ABC News, where he reported on domestic politics and the Middle East.
  • Peabody
Jessica Posner Odede '09 and Kennedy Odede '12

Jessica Posner Odede '09 and Kennedy Odede '12

Founders, Shining Hope for Communities
Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner Odede oversee operations of the Kenyan-based grassroots movement Shining Hope for Communities which counters gender inequality and extreme poverty in urban areas by making tuition-free schools and social services accessible to girls. Both have been awarded Echoing Green Fellowships. Kennedy participates in the Clinton Global Initiative.
Bozoma “Boz” Saint John ’99

Bozoma “Boz” Saint John ’99

Head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes

A trail-blazing marketing and advertising executive, Saint John is the head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes. Her career spans multiple industries, including digital music/entertainment, fashion, and sports. Billboard Magazine named her one of their Top Women in Music and she was one of Ebony Magazine’s 100 Powerful Executives. In 2014, she was inducted in the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement.

Joshua Boger ’73

Joshua Boger ’73

Executive Chairman, Alkeus Pharma

Executive chairman of Alkeus Pharma, Boger is the retired CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which he founded in 1989. His leadership of efforts to develop science-based transformative medicine resulted in the commercialization of the first drug to address the genetic defect associated with cystic fibrosis. Author of more than 50 scientific publications, he holds 32 issued U.S. patents in pharmaceutical discovery and development.

Joss Whedon '87

Joss Whedon '87

Creator, Producer, Director and Writer
A prolific film and TV show creator, producer, director and writer, Whedon's credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Speed, Toy Story, Serenity, The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers and Much Ado About Nothing. He also has composed music for some of his projects and written comic books. In 2013 Wesleyan recognized Whedon with an honorary Doctorate of Letters.
  • Emmy
Peter Shumlin '79

Peter Shumlin '79

Governor of Vermont
Governor of Vermont and, since December 2012, chair of the Democratic Governors Association, Shumlin formerly co-ran a company that places students in educational programs and service projects worldwide.
Maria Santana '98

Maria Santana '98

CNN Anchor and Correspondent
Santana, an anchor and correspondent for CNN En Espanol, has covered breaking news (Occupy Wall Street protests), cultural events (Puerto Rican Day parade) and celebrities.
Michael Bennet '87

Michael Bennet '87

Senator for Colorado
Before becoming a U.S. senator from Colorado, Bennet served as managing director of an investment firm, chief of staff to a Denver mayor and superintendent of that city's public schools.
Bill Belichick '75

Bill Belichick '75

Head Coach of the New England Patriots
One of the most successful head coaches in NFL history, Belichick has led the New England Patriots to four Super Bowl victories, while earlier serving as defensive coordinator for the New York Giants' two Super Bowl wins.  A keen scholar of football, he has cited his "three P's"—passionate people, preparation and performance—as the foundation for his extraordinary winning record.
  • ESPY

Doug Berman '84

Radio Producer
A two-time Peabody award-winner with a talent for "infotainment," Berman is the executive producer behind NPR's popular weekend programs Car Talk and Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!
  • Peabody
Lael Brainard '83

Lael Brainard '83

Governor, Federal Reserve Board
Brainard served as an undersecretary at the U.S. Treasury and as director of the Brookings Insitution's Global Economy and Development program before becoming governor of the Federal Reserve Board.
Jennifer Chayes '78

Jennifer Chayes '78

Managing Director, Microsoft
Best known for her work on phase transitions, Chayes is a Distinguished Scientist and managing director at Microsoft Research New England and New York City. She co-holds over 30 patents.
Jordan Goldman '04

Jordan Goldman '04

Founder and CEO, UNIGO
Committed to helping high school students choose, get into and pay for college, Goldman published the best-selling Students' Guide to Colleges series before launching the college search site UNIGO.
Daniel Handler '92

Daniel Handler '92

Writer
Under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket, Handler created a world of eccentricities in the best-selling children's books series A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was adapted into a 2004 Oscar-winning film.

Rob King '84

Senior Vice President of SportsCenter
As senior vice president, King oversees all operations for the perpetually high-rated ESPN SportsCenter and the network's news division. Prior to moving into executive roles with the cable network, he worked, variously as an editor, director of photography and graphic artist, at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Louisville Courier-Journal.
Laura Walker '79

Laura Walker '79

President and CEO, New York Public Radio
Under Walker's leadership, New York Public Radio's stations, online properties and Greene Performance Space reach more than 14 million people monthly. As the recipient of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, Walker previously worked as a producer at NOP and developed Carnegie Hall's AT&T Presents series.
  • Peabody

Lynn Chen '98

Actor
An actor best known for her roles on TV's Law and Order and the film Saving Face, Chen also serves as a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association and blogs about body image.

Hiram Chodosh '85

President of Claremont McKenna College
Before taking over as president of Claremont McKenna College in 2013, Chodosh earned a reputation as a distinguished educator, administrator and legal scholar as dean of the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Throughout his career, Chodosh has worked tirelessly on behalf of global judicial reform.
  • Gandhi Peace Award

Ariel Levy '96

Writer
Prior to joining The New Yorker as a staff writer, Levy worked as a conrtibuting editor at New York Magazine. She also authored Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.

Kevin Strait '97

Museum Specialist
A project historian at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, Strait assists curators in the research and acquisition of permanent exhibition items.

Shola Olatoye '96

Chair and CEO, New York Housing Authority
Appointed chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority in early 2014, Olatoye heads an agency that provides affordable housing for more than 620,000 low- and moderate-income residents. Previously, she was vice president and New York Market Leader for the nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners, creating homes for low-income New Yorkers.
Luke Wood '91

Luke Wood '91

President, Beat Electronics
As president of Dr. Dre and now Apple-owned Beats Electronics, Wood leads the high-end retailer, which makes headphones, earbuds, speakers and software technology.
Jennifer Finney Boylan '80

Jennifer Finney Boylan '80

Writer and Professor
Noted LGBT activist and author of 13 books, Boylan holds the post of Writer in Residence at Barnard College and contributing opinion writer to the op/ed page of the New York Times.

Jay Levy '60

Professor and Researcher
A researcher and educator in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Levy directs the school's Laboratory for Tumor and AIDS Virus Research. Over the past three decades, his work has helped to identify HIV, developed treatments to prevent hemophiliacs from contracting the virus, and reported the presence of HIV in the brain and bowel.
  • Fullbright