University of Michigan Celebrity Alumni Hall Of Fame

From pro athletes to music superstars, this historic Ann Arbor institution has seen its share of famous faces. 

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Arthur Miller

The renowned playwright's career was born and fostered in the libraries at the University of Michigan where he wrote his first play, No Villain. After graduating in 1938 with a degree in English, Miller maintained strong ties to his alma mater, establishing the Arthur Miller Award for Dramatic Writing and lending his name to U-M's Arthur Miller Theatre.

James Earl Jones

Known for his deep, iconic voice, the multi-faceted stage, movie, television and voice actor graduated from The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in 1955 with a degree in drama.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, followed his swim coach Bob Bowman to Michigan when Bowman was hired as head coach of the University of Michigan swim team. While at U-M, Phelps studied sports marketing and management and was a member of Club Wolverine.


A talented dancer and straight-A student, Madonna was offered a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in the late 1970s. Lucky for her fans, however, she dropped out in 1978 and relocated to New York City to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

Darren Criss

Most people know Darren Criss from his role as Blaine on the hit TV show Glee. But serious fans knew him first as Harry Potter in A Very Potter Musical — a wildly popular parody of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book series, produced and performed by U-M students in 2009. A senior at the time, Darren not only starred in the production, but co-wrote all of the music and lyrics as well. 

Gerald R. Ford

Before he was the 38th POTUS, Gerald R. Ford attended U of M in the early 1930s. A star football player, he won the title of MVP his senior year and was offered contracts from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, both of which he declined in favor of continuing his education. Ford graduated from Michigan in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Iggy Pop

Jim Osterberg, better known as the iconic Iggy Pop, briefly attended U-M before dropping out in 1965 to study blues drumming in Chicago.

Dr. Ben Carson, Sr.

The presidential hopeful graduated from the University of Michigan School of Medicine with a specialty in neurosurgery in 1977. 

Derek Jeter

Baseball giant Derek Jeter signed a National Letter of Intent in the spring of 1992 to play for the University of Michigan, where he would attend classes on a full baseball scholarship. But, unfortunately, Jeter never saw play time in Ann Arbor as he was drafted by the New York Yankees the same year.

Bob Woodruff

The ABC News reporter earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1987.

Gilda Radner

Before becoming one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, funny lady Gilda Radner attended the University of Michigan where she was the weather girl for the college radio station, WCBN-FM.

Ann Coulter

The outspoken political commentator received her J.D. from The University of Michigan Law School in 1988 where she honed her writing chops as editor of the student-run Michigan Law Review.

Tom Brady

Before going pro, Tom Brady was a star quarterback for the University of Michigan Wolverines, leading the team to two bowl victories in the 1998 and 1999 seasons.

David Alan Grier

Award-winning actor, David Alan Grier, got his first taste of stage acting in 1974 when he snagged a small role in a U-M production of Othello. He graduated from Michigan with a B.A. in radio, film and television in 1978.

Lucy Liu

When she wasn't taking classes toward her B.A. in Asian languages and cultures, Lucy Liu was working as a waitress at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase club and performing with U-M's student-run theater group, Basement Arts. She landed her first lead role as Alice in a U-M production of Alice in Wonderland during her senior year.

Ed White

Edward Higgins White, the first American to walk in space, received his Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1959.

Ann B. Davis

The Brady Bunch star originally enrolled at U-M as a pre-med major, but quickly switched her focus to drama after watching her older brother perform in the musical, Oklahoma! She graduated in 1948 with a degree in drama and speech.

Rick Bayless

With passion for authentic Mexican cuisine, celebrity chef Rick Bayless did doctoral work in anthropological linguistics at the University of Michigan before moving to Mexico to write his first book, Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico

Larry Page

The Google co-founder and CEO graduated with a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Michigan where both of his parents worked as computer professors.

Selma Blair

The Cruel Intentions actress graduated magna cum laude from U-M in 1994 with a B.F.A. in Photography, B.A. in Psychology and a double major in Fine Arts and English.

Sara Moulton

The highly acclaimed chef and Food Network star graduated from U-M in 1974 with a major in the history of ideas.