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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 Molly Sims is an American model and actress. She rose to prominence for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and her role as Delinda Deline in the NBC drama Las Vegas.

2
James Patterson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Television producer, Novelist, Film Producer James Patterson was born in March 22, 1947 and is one of the biggest bestselling authors and novelists of all times and an award winning American Author. Hes the author of 39 New York Times ...more

3
Dinah Shore is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Actor, Singer, Presenter Dinah Shore was an American singer, actress, television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s. She reached the height of her popularity as a recording artist during the ...more

4
John Amaechi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Basketball player, Athlete John Uzoma Ekwugha Amaechi, OBE is an English retired basketball player who currently works as an educator and broadcaster in Europe and the United States. In February 2007, after his retirement ...more

5
John D. Arnold is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Trader, Businessperson, Entrepreneur John Douglas Arnold is an American billionaire and former hedge fund manager who specialized in natural gas trading. His firm, Centaurus Advisors, LLC, was a Houston-based hedge fund that ...more

6
Robert Penn Warren is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Literary critic, Novelist Robert Penn Warren 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 Fellowship of Southern Writers. He ...more

7
Amy Ray is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Record producer, Singer-songwriter Amy Elizabeth Ray 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 her own name, and ...more

8
James Dickey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Novelist, Lecturer James Lafayette Dickey was an American poet and novelist. He was appointed the eighteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1966. He also received the Order of the ...more

9
John J. Tigert is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Professor, Coach John James Tigert, IV was an American university president, university professor and administrator, college sports coach and the U.S. Commissioner of Education. Tigert was a native of Tennessee ...more

10
Jay Cutler is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Athlete, American football player Jay Christopher Cutler is an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. ...more

11
Richard Quest is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Journalist, TV Journalist, Presenter Richard Austin Quest is an English journalist and a CNN International anchor and reporter, based in New York City, New York. He anchors Quest Means Business. In addition to anchoring the ...more

12
Amy Grant is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Guitarist, Musician, Singer-songwriter Amy Lee Grant is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, media personality and actress, best known for performing Christian music. She has been referred to as "The Queen of ...more

13
Allen Tate is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Novelist, Author John Orley Allen Tate was an American poet, essayist, social commentator, and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress 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 Delbert Martin Mann, Jr. was an American television and film director. He won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Director for the film Marty. It was the ...more

15
Jack Thompson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Lawyer John Bruce "Jack" Thompson is an American activist and disbarred attorney, based in Coral Gables, Florida. Thompson is known for his role as an anti-video-game activist, particularly ...more

16
Brendan Synnott is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Entrepreneur 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 John Barrett 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 Times commented that he had "done ...more

18
John Lowden Knight is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
John Lowden Knight was a professor, university administrator, and a Methodist theologian. He was President of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska; the fourth president of ...more

19
David Boaz is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
David Boaz David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank. He is the author of Libertarianism: A Primer, published in 1997 by the Free Press and ...more

20
Fred Thompson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Public speaker, Politician, Journalist Freddie Dalton "Fred" Thompson is an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, and radio host. Thompson, a Republican, served in the United States Senate representing ...more

21
Bernie Machen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Professor James Bernard Machen is an American university professor and administrator. Machen is a native of Mississippi, and earned multiple academic degrees before becoming a university administrator and ...more

22
Randall Jarrell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Novelist, Author Randall Jarrell was an American poet, literary critic, children's author, essayist, novelist, and the 11th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position that now bears the title ...more

23
David Brinkley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Journalist, Screenwriter David McClure Brinkley 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 nightly news program, The ...more

24
Norman Shumway is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Surgeon Norman Edward Shumway was a pioneer of heart surgery at Stanford University. He is widely regarded as the father of heart transplantation.

25
Steve Cohen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Politician, Lawyer Stephen Ira "Steve" Cohen is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 9th congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Tennessee's 9th district ...more

26
Lamar Alexander is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Politician, Lawyer Andrew Lamar Alexander, Jr. is an American politician and the senior United States senator from Tennessee having served since 2003. A member of the Republican Party, Alexander previously served ...more

27
Muhammad Yunus is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Entrepreneur, Professor, Economist Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of ...more

28
John Crowe Ransom is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Essayist, Writer John Crowe Ransom was an American educator, scholar, literary critic, poet, essayist and editor. He is considered to be a founder of the New Criticism school of literary criticism. As a faculty ...more

29
Willie Geist is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Commentator, Presenter William Russell "Willie" Geist is an American television personality. He is co-anchor of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and co-anchor of NBC's Today's Take the third hour of The Today Show. ...more

30
Greg Miller is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Educator David Gregory Miller is a poet from America. He has written four books of poetry. He has been working as an English language teacher at Millsaps College in Mississippi. Miller's poems have ...more

31
June Carter Cash is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Comedian, Musician, Singer-songwriter Valerie June Carter Cash was an American singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and author who was a member of the Carter Family and the second wife of singer Johnny Cash. Prior to her ...more

32
John Neely Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Politician John Neely Kennedy is the Republican state treasurer of Louisiana. He was re-elected without opposition to his fourth term as State Treasurer on September 8, 2011.

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Richard M. Weaver is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Philosopher Richard Malcolm Weaver, Jr was an American scholar who taught English at the University of Chicago. He is primarily known as an intellectual historian, political philosopher and a shaper of ...more

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D. M. Smith is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Mathematician David Melville "Doc" Smith was a renowned professor and mathematician at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During his more than forty years at the school, he was particularly known ...more

35
James Eastland is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
James Oliver Eastland was an American politician from Mississippi who served in the United States Senate as a Democrat in 1941; and again from 1943 until his resignation December 27, 1978. From ...more

36
Hiram Wesley Evans is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Dentist Hiram Wesley Evans was Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, an American white supremacist group, from 1922 to 1939. A native of Alabama, Evans attended Vanderbilt University and became a ...more

37
Jim Bacchus is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Lawyer James Bacchus is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a former chairman of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization. Bacchus graduated from Vanderbilt University in ...more

38
Mack Brown is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
American Football coach, Coach, American football player William Mack Brown is a former American college football coach. He was most recently head football coach of the Texas Longhorns football team of the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his ...more

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John E. Fryer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
John E. Fryer John E. Fryer, M.D. was an American psychiatrist and gay rights activist best known for his anonymous speech at the 1972 American Psychiatric Association annual conference where he appeared in ...more

40
Mickey Kantor is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Politician, Lawyer Michael "Mickey" Kantor is an American politician and lawyer. After serving as the Clinton-Gore campaign chair in 1992, Kantor was appointed United States Trade Representative, holding ...more

41
James Clark McReynolds is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Lawyer James Clark McReynolds was an American lawyer and judge who served as United States Attorney General under President Woodrow Wilson and as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme ...more

42
Lee Cruce is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Politician, Banker, Lawyer Lee Cruce was an American lawyer, banker and the second governor of Oklahoma. Losing to Charles N. Haskell in the 1907 Democratic primary election to serve as the first governor of Oklahoma, ...more

43
Artyom Shneyerov is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Economist Artyom Shneyerov is a microeconomist working at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He is also an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Industrial Organization. His current ...more

44
Glenn McGee is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Author, Philosopher Glenn Edwards McGee is a professor of public management at the University of New Haven. He has been noted for his work on reproductive technology and genetics and for advancing a theory of ...more

45
Joseph W. Byrns, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Lawyer Joseph Wellington "Jo" Byrns, Sr. was a U.S. politician. He served as a 14-term Democratic Congressman from Tennessee.

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William R. Lucas is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
William R. Lucas Sailor William R. Lucas was the fourth Director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. He served as director from June 15, 1974 to July 3, 1986; when he retired as a result of the Challenger

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David Farr is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Businessperson David Nelson Farr is an American business executive. He is the chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric Company, a Fortune 500 company. Farr has worked at the company since 1981. He is married with ...more

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Ellen Gilchrist is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Poet, Novelist, Writer Ellen Gilchrist is an American novelist, short story writer, and poet. She won a National Book Award for her 1984 collection of short stories, Victory Over Japan.

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Hunter Hillenmeyer is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
American football player Hunter Taverner Hillenmeyer is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft and played ...more

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Floyd M. Riddick is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Vanderbilt University Alumni
Political scientist Floyd M. Riddick was a Parliamentarian of the United States Senate from 1964 to 1974, and is most famous for developing Riddick's Senate procedure. He sat immediately below the presiding officer ...more