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Which Famous People Went To Columbia University?

Vincent Ralph March 25, 2023

There’s no doubt that Columbia is one of the most prestigious universities in the US. The Ivy League school is home to many brilliant minds who have gone on to do great things in their respective fields. From actors to politicians to business tycoons, Columbia has produced some of the most influential people of our time. So let’s take a closer look at some of the most famous people who went to Columbia University.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an accomplished actor, filmmaker, and singer. He attended Columbia in 1999, studying French poetry, history, and literature. While there, he continued to act and performed in several productions, including a Shakespeare play.

After graduating, Gordon-Levitt went on to star in a number of hit films, including (500) Days of Summer, Inception, and The Dark Knight Rises. He has also written and directed several movies including Don Jon. In addition to his film career, Gordon-Levitt is also a talented musician and has released several albums. From his initial role in Third Rock From The Sun, to his current status as one of Hollywood’s top actors, he has really made a name for himself.

Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, is one of Columbia’s most famous alumni. He studied political science and graduated with a degree in 1983. Obama was involved in several student organizations, including the Black Students’ Organization and the anti-apartheid movement.

After graduating, Obama went on to become a community organizer in Chicago, where he worked with low-income families to improve their living conditions. He later attended law school at Harvard and went on to serve in the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate before being elected President in 2008.

Awesome Actors Studied At Columbia

Sara Ali Khan is a Bollywood actress and one of the most popular celebrities in India today. She attended Columbia from 2016-2018, where she studied history and political science. While there, she was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and participated in several extracurricular activities.

After graduating, Khan made her debut in the Bollywood film Kedarnath in 2018, which was a commercial success. She has since starred in the likes of Simmba and Love Aaj Kal. In addition to her film career, Khan is also an ambassador for several brands and has a large following on social media.

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Kate McKinnon is a talented actress and comedian who is best known for her work on Saturday Night Live. While at Columbia, she performed in several plays and was a member of the improvisational comedy group, Tea Party, alongside her theatre studies.

After graduating, McKinnon went on to perform with several comedy troupes before landing a job on Saturday Night Live in 2012. She has since become one of the show’s most popular cast members and has won several awards for her performances. McKinnon has also appeared in several films, including Ghostbusters and Rough Night.

Acclaimed actress Julia Stiles also graduated from Columbia in 2005. Known for her stellar performances in movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You (alongside Gordon-Levitt) and Save the Last Dance, Stiles majored in English at Columbia and was actively involved in the theater community on campus. Since graduating, Stiles has gone on to become a household name in Hollywood, starring in blockbuster hits such as The Bourne Identity and Silver Linings Playbook.

She has been nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe and an Emmy, and she won a Teen Choice Award for her role in Save the Last Dance.

Famous Historical Figures Went To Columbia University

Next up is Alexander Hamilton, one of the most prominent founding fathers of the United States and certainly one of the most famous people to ever attend Columbia University. Hamilton studied there in the late 1770s, where he honed his skills in public speaking and debate. He went on to become one of the most influential voices in American politics, serving as the first Secretary of the Treasury under President George Washington. Hamilton was instrumental in shaping the economic policies of the fledgling United States, and his contributions to the country’s founding have been widely celebrated.

If you didn’t know much about Hamilton before, you certainly do following Lin Manuel Miranda’s incredible musical. The Broadway hit has taught history in a whole new way and the songs (and the story) are now imbedded into our psyche.

Last but certainly not least, we have Marcellus Wiley, the former NFL defensive end who graduated from Columbia in 1997. Wiley was a standout athlete during his time at Columbia, playing football for the university and earning a degree in sociology. After graduating, Wiley went on to have a successful career in the NFL, playing for teams such as the Buffalo Bills and the San Diego Chargers. He has since become a well-known sports commentator, working for networks such as ESPN and Fox Sports. In addition to his work in sports journalism, Wiley has also written several books and has been active in philanthropic endeavors, working to improve the lives of children in underserved communities.

Related: Famous Faces That Have Studied At Harvard University

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Vincent Ralph is Senior Managing Editor at GRV Media. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Greenwich and later completed his NCTJ in Newspaper and Magazine Journalism while studying in Cornwall. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years. He joined GRV Media in 2014, working his way up from football writer to a senior member of staff. After two years as Managing Editor of Rousing The Kop and The Boot Room he became Senior Managing Editor of new student website Freshered. Vincent is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and his second novel is also a USA Today bestseller and the winner of the Southern Schools Book Award.