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Famous Rice University Alumni

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Updated July 22, 2019 20.9k views 269 items

List Rules People on this list must have gone to Rice University and be of some renown.

List of famous alumni from Rice University, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Rice University include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. This list of distinguished Rice University alumni is loosely ordered by relevance, so the most recognizable celebrities who attended Rice University are at the top of the list. This directory is not just composed of graduates of this school, as some of the famous people on this list didn't necessarily earn a degree from Rice University.

Examples of graduates on this list include Howard Hughes and Lance Berkman.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Rice University?” and “Which celebrities are Rice University alumni?”
1
Peggy Whitson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Biochemist, Astronaut, Biomedical sciences

Age: 59

Birthplace: Mount Ayr, Iowa

Peggy Annette Whitson (born February 9, 1960) is an American biochemistry researcher, retired NASA astronaut, and former NASA Chief Astronaut. Her first space mission was in 2002, with an ...more

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2
James H. Newman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Physicist, Astronaut

Age: 62

Birthplace: Federated States of Micronesia

James Hansen Newman, Ph.D. (born October 16, 1956) is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut who flew on four Space Shuttle missions.
3
John Doerr is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Venture capitalist

Age: 67

Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri

L. John Doerr (born June 29, 1951) is an American investor and venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins in Menlo Park, California. In February 2009, Doerr was appointed a member of the President's ...more
4
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Editor, Poet, Literary critic

Age: 80

Birthplace: Lockport, New York

Joyce Carol Oates (born June 16, 1938) is an American writer. Oates published her first book in 1962 and has since published 58 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many ...more

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5
Takao Doi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Astronaut, Engineer

Age: 64

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Takao Doi (土井 隆雄, Doi Takao, born September 18, 1954) is a Japanese astronaut and veteran of two NASA Space Shuttle missions. Doi holds a doctorate from the University of Tokyo in aerospace ...more
6
Howard Hughes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Pilot, Investor, Entrepreneur

Age: Dec. at 71 (1905-1976)

Birthplace: Texas, USA, Humble

Howard Robard Hughes Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was an American business magnate, investor, record-setting pilot, engineer, film director, and philanthropist, known during his ...more

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7
Shannon Walker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Physicist, Flight engineer, Astronaut

Age: 53

Birthplace: Houston, Texas

Shannon Walker (born 4 June 1965 in Houston, Texas) is an American scientist and a NASA astronaut whose first space mission was Expedition 24 on the International Space Station with take-off on ...more

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8
Tamara E. Jernigan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Astronaut, Scientist

Age: 59

Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tamara Elizabeth "Tammy" Jernigan, Ph.D. (born May 7, 1959, in Chattanooga, Tennessee) is an American scientist and former NASA astronaut and a veteran of five shuttle missions. She ...more

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9
Robert Woodrow Wilson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Physicist, Scientist, Astronomer

Age: 83

Birthplace: Houston, Texas

Robert Woodrow Wilson (born January 10, 1936) is an American astronomer who, along with Arno Allan Penzias, discovered cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) in 1964. The pair won the 1978 ...more
10
George Chang is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Chemical engineer, Politician, Film Producer

Age: 83

Birthplace: Tainan County

George Chang or Chang Tsan-hung (Chinese: 張燦鍙; pinyin: Zhāng Cànhòng; Wade–Giles: Chāng Tsàn-hùng; born 1 March 1936) is a Taiwanese politician and independence ...more
11
Fred C. Koch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Chemical engineer, Businessperson, Industrialist

Age: Dec. at 67 (1900-1967)

Birthplace: Quanah, Texas, United States of America

Fred Chase Koch (; September 23, 1900 – November 17, 1967) was an American chemical engineer and entrepreneur who founded the oil refinery firm that later became Koch Industries, a privately ...more
12
James E. Gunn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Astrophysicist

Age: 80

James Gunn (born 1966) is an American filmmaker. James Gunn may also refer to: Sir James Gunn (explorer) of Scotland, member of Henry Sinclair's survey expedition James Gunn (senator) ...more
13
Steve Sailer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Journalist

Age: 60

Steven Ernest Sailer (born December 20, 1958) is an American journalist, movie critic, and columnist. He is a former correspondent for UPI and a columnist for Taki's Magazine and VDARE.com, a ...more
14
Candace Bushnell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter

Age: 60

Birthplace: Glastonbury, Connecticut, United States of America

Candace Bushnell (born December 1, 1958) is an American author, journalist, and television producer. She wrote a column for The New York Observer (1994–96) that was adapted into the bestselling ...more

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15
Kevin Harvey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Venture capitalist
Kevin Harvey is a founding member of and general partner at Benchmark, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He was ranked No. 27 on the 2011 Forbes Midas List and was No. 59 in 2012.
16
George Foreman III is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Business executive, Television producer, Professional Boxer

Age: 36

Birthplace: Humble, Texas, United States of America

George Edward "Monk" Foreman III (born January 23, 1983) is an entrepreneur, professional boxer, trainer/coach, founder of EverybodyFights and son of businessman and former two-time ...more
17
Annise Parker is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Politician

Age: 62

Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States of America

Annise Danette Parker (born May 17, 1956) is an American politician who served as the 61st Mayor of Houston, Texas, from 2010 until 2016. She also served as an at-large member of the Houston ...more
18
Randa Duncan Williams is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Businessperson

Age: 57

Randa Duncan Williams was elected a Director of the general partner of Enterprise GP Holdings, L.P. in May 2007. Ms. Williams is a Director, President and CEO of EPCO, Inc., the majority owner ...more
19
Carlton M. Caves is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Physicist

Age: 68

Carlton "Carl" Morris Caves is an American physicist. He is currently Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Professor in Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico. Caves ...more
20
David Aardsma is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Baseball player

Age: 37

Birthplace: Denver, Colorado

David Allan Aardsma (; born December 27, 1981) is an American former professional baseball pitcher, currently serving in the Toronto Blue Jays front office as a coordinator of player ...more

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21
John D. Olivas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Astronaut, Engineer

Age: 53

Birthplace: North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

John Daniel "Danny" Olivas (born May 25, 1965 in North Hollywood, California) is an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut. Olivas has flown on two space shuttle missions, ...more
22
Jeffrey A. Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Astrophysicist, Professor, Astronaut

Age: 74

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Jeffrey Alan Hoffman (born November 2, 1944) is an American former NASA astronaut and currently a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Hoffman made five flights as a Space Shuttle ...more
23
Forest Baskett is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Venture capitalist
Forest joined NEA in 1999 as a Venture Partner and became a General Partner in 2004. Forest focuses on information technology investments. Present board memberships include Aeluros, Aprius, Arch ...more
24
George P. Bush is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Politician, Real estate entrepreneur, Military Officer

Age: 42

Birthplace: Houston, Texas

George Prescott Bush (born April 24, 1976) is an American corporate lawyer, former U.S. Navy Reserve officer, real estate investor, and politician who serves as the Commissioner of the Texas ...more
25
Bruce Dunlevie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Rice University Alumni
Venture capitalist
Bruce is a seasoned veteran of venture capital with more than 15 years experience in high-tech investing. Prior to Benchmark, Bruce spent six years as a general partner with Merrill, Pickard, ...more