Kenyon alumni go on to do great things. Among them: live-saving doctors, best-selling authors, cutting-edge researchers, Oscar-winning actors, a Supreme Court justice, a prime minister, and even a U.S. president. Together, their imaginations, insights and actions continue to impact our culture, our politics and our daily lives.

  • Star of Stage and Screen

    A prolific character actress, Allison Janney ‘82 has wowed audiences as a stoic White House press secretary in “The West Wing," a woman overcoming addiction in "Mom," and as Tonya Harding’s mom in "I, Tonya."

  • Moonwalker

    Walk the Moon, the band Nick Petricca '09 launched at Kenyon, went on to top charts with its catchy earworm, “Shut Up and Dance." Their album "Talking is Hard" has sold more than 3 million copies in the U.S.

  • News Mogul

    Starting his journalism career at the Kenyon Collegian, Matthew Winkler '77 went on to write for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Forbes before serving as editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, the global news service he co-founded with Michael Bloomberg.

  • Head Coach

    Shaka Smart '99 rocketed to fame after leading the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams to an improbable Final Four finish in the NCAA basketball tournament. As head coach at the University of Texas at Austin, seven of his 10 teams have advanced to tournament play.

  • Trailblazing Author

    Young adult novelist John Green ‘00 wrote the “The Fault in Our Stars,” which debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list and later became a feature film. Green also co-founded the YouTube channel, vlogbrothers, and the popular educational series, Crash Course.

  • Political Photojournalist

    New York Times staff photographer Erin Schaff '11 covers everything from presidential rallies to the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s hospitals. Two of her photos of the Ford-Kavanaugh sexual assault hearings were featured in Time's Top 100 Photos of 2018.

  • Calvin and Hobbes Creator

    Bill Watterson '80, who got his start drawing political cartoons for the Kenyon Collegian, went on to dream up “Calvin and Hobbes,” one of the most popular comic strips of the late 1980s that continues to live on in pop culture.

  • Novel Novelist

    Critically acclaimed writer Laura Hillenbrand '89 is known for her approach of blending historical narrative with literary technique to bring new life to stories of the American past.  “Seabiscuit” and “Unbroken” sold over 13 million copies and were adapted as feature films.  

  • Celebrated Poet

    Allison Joseph ’88 has published eight full-length poetry collections, including “What Keeps Us Here,” which won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award. She directs a creative writing program for graduate students and is editor-in-chief of Crab Orchard Review.

  • Father of the Pill

    National Medal of Science recipient Carl Djerassi '43 is best known for synthesizing norethindrone, the steroid hormone that has become one of the most widely used ingredients in oral contraceptives. The chemist also was an prolific poet, science-fiction novelist and playwright.

  • Buzzworthy Indie Musician

    Singer-songwriter Nandi Rose Plunkett ’11, who performs under the band name Half Waif, earned accolades for her 2020 album “The Caretaker." Pitchfork praised her compositions for sounding “effortless and fluid like cursive.”

  • Iconic Actor and Philanthropist

    Oscar-winning actor and director Paul Newman ’49 lit up the screen in “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting.” He also co-founded Newman’s Own, raising more than $550 million for charities.

  • Pulitzer-Winning Producer

    As supervising producer at “This American Life,” Nadia Reiman ‘05 won the first-ever Pulitzer for audio reporting for "The Out Crowd," which highlighted the U.S. Remain in Mexico policy.

  • Sitcom Star

    Josh Radnor ’96 is best known as Ted Mosby on the Emmy Award-winning sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” but Kenyon audiences also know him from “Liberal Arts,” the film he wrote, directed and starred in—and shot on location in Gambier.   

  • Playwright on the Rise

    Harrison David Rivers ’04 has been honored with the GLAAD Media Award for “When We Last Flew” and the Relentless Award for “the bandaged place.” 

  • Television Visionary

    President of Imagine Television Samie Kim Falvey ’96 has played a leading role in shaping some of America’s most groundbreaking and popular TV shows, including “Black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Modern Family,” “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs."