READ

Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni

Reference
Updated July 22, 2019 30.6k views 357 items

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

List of famous alumni from Vanderbilt University, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Vanderbilt University include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. This list of distinguished Vanderbilt University alumni is loosely ordered by relevance, so the most recognizable celebrities who attended Vanderbilt 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 Vanderbilt University.

A factual list, featuring graduates like Jay Cutler and Molly Sims.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Vanderbilt University?” and “Which celebrities are Vanderbilt University alumni?”
1
Molly Sims is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Model, Supermodel, Actor

Age: 45

Birthplace: Murray, Kentucky, United States of America

Molly Sims (born May 25, 1973) is an American model and actress. She has appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and played Delinda Deline in the NBC drama Las Vegas.

More Molly Sims 

#17 of 34 All The Celebrities Supporting Cory Booker #20 of 20 Celebrities in Calvin Klein Dresses #3 of 20 20 Celebrities Who Were Tri Deltas

2
James Patterson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Television producer, Novelist, Film Producer

Age: 71

Birthplace: Newburgh, New York, United States of America

James Brendan Patterson (born March 22, 1947) is an American author and philanthropist. Among his works are the Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women's Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Daniel X, NYPD ...more

More James Patterson 

The Best James Patterson Books #240 of 341 The Greatest American Writers of All Time #249 of 313 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100

3
Dinah Shore is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Actor, Singer, Presenter

Age: Dec. at 78 (1916-1994)

Birthplace: Winchester, Tennessee, United States of America

Dinah Shore (born Fannye Rose Shore; February 29, 1916 – February 24, 1994) was a 20th century American singer, actress and television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the ...more

More Dinah Shore 

#211 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #325 of 465 Celebrities You Didn't Know Use Stage Names #46 of 303 The Greatest Jewish Singers and Songwriters

4
John Amaechi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Basketball player, Athlete

Age: 48

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

John Uzoma Ekwugha Amaechi, OBE (; born 26 November 1970) is an English psychologist, consultant and former professional basketball player. He played college basketball at Vanderbilt and Penn ...more

More John Amaechi 

#14 of 27 The Greatest Gay Icons in Sports #123 of 234 The Best Utah Jazz of All Time #22 of 30 The Best Orlando Magic Power Forwards of All Time

5
John D. Arnold is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Trader, Businessperson, Entrepreneur

Age: 45

John Douglas Arnold (born 1974) is an American billionaire, former hedge fund manager, and former natural gas trader instrumental in the Enron scandal. His firm, Centaurus Advisors, LLC, was a ...more
6
Robert Penn Warren is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Literary critic, Novelist

Age: Dec. at 84 (1905-1989)

Birthplace: Guthrie, Kentucky

Robert Penn Warren (April 24, 1905 – September 15, 1989) was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic and was one of the founders of New Criticism. He was also a charter member of the ...more

More Robert Penn Warren 

#313 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #59 of 341 The Greatest American Writers of All Time #171 of 302 The Best Novelists of All Time

7
Amy Ray is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Record producer, Singer-songwriter

Age: 54

Birthplace: Decatur, Georgia, United States of America

Amy Elizabeth Ray (born April 12, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter and member of the contemporary folk duo Indigo Girls. She also pursues a solo career and has released six albums under ...more
8
James Dickey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Novelist, Lecturer

Age: Dec. at 74 (1923-1997)

Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

James Lafayette Dickey (February 2, 1923 – January 19, 1997) was an American poet and novelist. He was appointed the eighteenth United States Poet Laureate in 1966. He also received the Order of ...more
9
John J. Tigert is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Professor, Coach

Age: Dec. at 83 (1882-1965)

Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee

John James Tigert IV (February 11, 1882 – January 21, 1965) was an American university president, university professor and administrator, college sports coach and the U.S. Commissioner of ...more
10
Jay Cutler is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Athlete, American football player

Age: 32

Birthplace: Carter Township, Santa Claus, Indiana

Jay Christopher Cutler (born April 29, 1983) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for 12 seasons, primarily with the Chicago Bears. He played ...more

More Jay Cutler 

#268 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #171 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #496 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

11
Richard Quest is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Journalist, TV Journalist, Presenter

Age: 56

Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom

Richard Austin Quest (born 9 March 1962) is an English journalist and a CNN International Anchor. He is also CNN Business Editor at Large, based in New York City. He anchors "Quest Means ...more
12
Amy Grant is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Guitarist, Musician, Singer-songwriter

Age: 58

Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

Amy Lee Grant (born November 25, 1960) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author and media personality. She is known for performing contemporary Christian music (CCM) and for a ...more

More Amy Grant 

The Best Amy Grant Albums of All Time #144 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #142 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

13
Allen Tate is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Novelist, Author

Age: Dec. at 80 (1899-1979)

Birthplace: Winchester, Kentucky

John Orley Allen Tate (November 19, 1899 – February 9, 1979), known professionally as Allen Tate, was an American poet, essayist, social commentator, and Poet Laureate from 1943 to 1944.
14
Delbert Mann is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Television director, Television producer, Film Director

Age: Dec. at 87 (1920-2007)

Birthplace: Lawrence, Kansas, United States of America

Delbert Martin Mann Jr. (January 30, 1920 – November 11, 2007) was an American television and film director. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film Marty (1955), adapted from a ...more
15
Jack Thompson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Lawyer

Age: 67

Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio

John Bruce Thompson (born July 25, 1951) is an American activist and disbarred attorney, based in Coral Gables, Florida. Thompson is known for his role as an anti-video-game activist, ...more
16
Brendan Synnott is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Entrepreneur

Age: 40

Birthplace: Connecticut

Brendan Synnott is scheduled to appear on Survivor: Tocantins, the eighteenth season of reality show Survivor.
17
John Barrett is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Journalist, Diplomat

Age: Dec. at 72 (1866-1938)

Birthplace: Grafton, Vermont, United States of America

John Barrett (November 28, 1866 – October 17, 1938) was a United States diplomat and one of the most influential early directors general of the Pan American Union. On his death, the New York ...more
18
John Lowden Knight is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni

Age: Dec. at 86 (1915-2001)

John Lowden Knight (November 2, 1915 – July 21, 2001) was a professor, university administrator, and a Methodist theologian. He was President of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska; ...more
19
David Boaz is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
David Boaz

Age: 65

Birthplace: Mayfield, Kentucky

David Boaz (; born August 29, 1953, Mayfield, Kentucky) is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank. He is the author of Libertarianism: A Primer, ...more
20
Fred Thompson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Public speaker, Politician, Journalist

Age: 76

Birthplace: Colbert County, Sheffield, Contiguous United States, United States of America, United States, + more

Freddie Dalton Thompson (August 19, 1942 – November 1, 2015) was an American politician, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, actor and radio personality. Thompson, a Republican, served in the United ...more

More Fred Thompson 

#174 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #9 of 428 Here's a List of Every Known Republican Celebrity #237 of 432 Famous Tall Men Over 6'2

21
Bernie Machen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Professor

Age: 74

Birthplace: Greenwood, Mississippi

James Bernard Machen (; born March 26, 1944) is an American university professor and administrator. Machen is a native of Mississippi, and earned several academic degrees before becoming a ...more
22
Randall Jarrell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Novelist, Author

Age: Dec. at 51 (1914-1965)

Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee

Randall Jarrell (May 6, 1914 – October 14, 1965) was an American poet, literary critic, children's author, essayist, and novelist. He was the 11th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of ...more

More Randall Jarrell 

#36 of 111 The Best American Poets #256 of 373 The Greatest Poets of All Time #112 of 214 The Best Poets of the 20th Century

23
David Brinkley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Journalist, Screenwriter

Age: Dec. at 83 (1920-2003)

Birthplace: Wilmington, USA, North Carolina

David McClure Brinkley (July 10, 1920 – June 11, 2003) was an American newscaster for NBC and ABC in a career lasting from 1943 to 1997. From 1956 through 1970, he co-anchored NBC's top-rated ...more

More David Brinkley 

#39 of 113 The Most Influential Contemporary Americans #7 of 55 The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time #3 of 48 The Best Retired News Anchors

24
Norman Shumway is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Surgeon

Age: Dec. at 83 (1923-2006)

Birthplace: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Norman Edward Shumway (February 9, 1923 – February 10, 2006) was a pioneer of heart surgery at Stanford University. He was the 67th president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and ...more
25
Steve Cohen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Politician, Lawyer

Age: 69

Birthplace: Area code 901, Tennessee, Shelby County, United States of America, United States, + more

Stephen Ira Cohen (born May 24, 1949) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative from Tennessee's 9th congressional district, since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic ...more