List of Cornell University alumni

This list of Cornell University alumni includes notable graduates, non-graduate former students, and current students of Cornell University, an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. Alumni are known as Cornellians.


Nobel laureates


Peace, literature, or economics

Physiology or medicine


Heads of state

U.S. Cabinet and Cabinet-level ranks

U.S. senators, governors and Supreme Court justices

U.S. congressmen


Judges and lawyers


Natural sciences and related fields




  • Isabel Martin Lewis (A.B. 1903, A.M. 1905) – Eclipse expert, popularizer of astronomy; first woman hired by the United States Naval Observatory.
  • Frank Drake (B.A. 1952 Engineering Physics; Professor of Astronomy, 1964–84) – SETI researcher, known for the Drake equation
  • Vera Rubin (M.A. 1951) – Astronomer known for contributions to the study of dark matter
  • Steven Squyres (B.A. 1978 Geology, Ph.D. 1982 Planetary Science; Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy) – Astronomer, principal science investigator for the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity
  • Jill Tarter (B.S. 1965) – Astronomer, Director of the Center for SETI Research


  • Harry Coover (M.S. 1943, Ph.D. 1944) – Prolific product inventor, notably cyanoacrylate adhesives (Super Glue); member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame
  • Walter McCrone (B.S. 1938 Chemistry, Ph.D. 1942 Organic Chemistry) – Leading expert in microscopy, best known for work on the Shroud of Turin and the Vinland map
  • Thomas Midgley, Jr. (M.E. 1911) – Inventor of Freon and tetra-ethyl lead
  • Eugene G. Rochow (B.S. 1931, Ph.D. 1935) – Inorganic chemist award the Perkin Medal
  • Benjamin Widom (Ph.D. 1953; Goldwin Smith Professor of Chemistry 1954–) – Physical chemist awarded the Boltzmann Medal

Computer science and engineering

  • Edmund M. Clarke (M.S. 1974, Ph.D. 1976) – winner of the 2007 Association for Computing Machinery A.M. Turing Award, winner of the IEEE Computer Society Harry H. Goode Memorial Award
  • Robert L. Cook (M.S. 1981 Computer Graphics) – Academy Award for creation of RenderMan rendering software
  • Paul Francis – Responsible for IP Nesting
  • Andrew C. Greenberg (B.S. 1979) – Co-creator of the massively successful early computer game Wizardry
  • Donald P. Greenberg (B.C.E. 1958, Ph.D. 1968) – Computer graphics pioneer and educator
  • Morton Heilig (1943) – Early virtual reality pioneer, inventor
  • William Higinbotham (graduate study) – Developer of Tennis for Two, 1958, one of the earliest video games
  • Jon Kleinberg (B.S. 1993, Professor of Computer Science) – MacArthur Fellow, researcher of combinatorial network structure
  • Jai Menon(PhD, 1992 and M.S. 1989) – Winner of InformationWeek Global CIO 50 (USA, 2009), NASSCOMM IT Innovation Award 2006, Director of Technology, Bharti Enterprises, 30+ patents (Rich Media), Implemented innovative S1 contract with IBM for Bharti Airtel
  • Robert S. Langer (B.S. 1970 Chemical Engineering) – Leading figure in biochemical engineering, author of over 500 patents and 800 scientific papers
  • Marc Levoy (B.Arch. 1976, M.S. 1978 Architecture) – Developed technology and algorithms for digitizing 3D objects that led to the Digital Michelangelo Project
  • Douglas McIlroy (B.E.P. 1954) – Inventor of the pipes and filters architecture of Unix and the concept of software componentry
  • Al Seckel – Creator of the Darwin Fish
  • John A. Swanson (B.S. 1962, M.S. 1963) – founder of ANSYS and John Fritz Medal winner
  • Robert Woodhead – Co-creator of the massively successful early computer game Wizardry and co-founder of AnimEigo

Industrial and Labor Relations

Biology, ecology, botany, nutrition

  • Robert C. Baker (B.S. 1943; Professor) – Inventor of the chicken nugget
  • Stephen Moulton Babcock, developed the "single-grain experiment" (in 1907–11) that would lead to the development of nutrition as a science.
  • John Henry Comstock (B.S. 1874; Professor) – Pioneer in entomology research and education
  • Milislav Demerec (Ph.D. 1923 Genetics) – Geneticist and long serving director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • Keith Downey (Ph.D. 1961) – Inventor of canola oil
  • Arthur Rose Eldred (B.S. 1916 Agriculture) – America's first Eagle Scout, 1912), agriculturalist
  • Louis Agassiz Fuertes (B.A 1897; Lecturer 1923–?) – Ornithologist and illustrator
  • Veranus Alva Moore (B.S. 1887; Professor of Veterinary Medicine 1896–1908, Dean of Vet School, 1908–29) – Bacteriologist and pathologist
  • Roger Morse (B.S. 1950, M.S. 1953, Ph.D. 1955; Professor) – Apiculture author, teacher, researcher
  • Theobald Smith (B.Phil 1881) – microbiologist and pathologist who discovered the causes of several infectious and parasitic diseases, and anaphylaxis
  • Philip Edward Smith (Ph. D. 1912, Anatomy) – Endocrinologist who demonstrated function of pituitary gland by performing hypophysectomies in rats.


NASA astronauts

  • Ellen S. Baker (M.D. 1978) – Lead Astronaut for Medical Issues, Johnson Space Center
  • Daniel T. Barry (B.S.E.E. 1975) – Astronaut, contestant on CBS reality program Survivor: Exile Island
  • Jay C. Buckey, Jr. (B.S.E.E. 1977, M.D. 1981) – Astronaut
  • Martin J. Fettman (B.S. 1976 Animal Nutrition, M.S. 1970 Nutrition, D.V.M 1970; Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Lecturer 1994) – Payload specialist
  • Mae Jemison (M.D. 1981; A.D. White Professor-at-Large 1999–2005) – First African-American woman to travel in space; member of National Women's Hall of Fame; chemical engineer, physician, teacher
  • G. David Low (B.S.M.E. 1980) – Astronaut
  • Edward T. Lu (B.S.E.E. 1984) – Astronaut and physicist
  • Donald A. Thomas (M.S. 1980 Materials Science, Ph.D. 1982 Materials Science) – Astronaut

Social sciences

Anthropology & Sociology

  • Edward Bernays (B.S. 1912 Agriculture) – Public relations practitioner, author of Propaganda
  • Ken Blanchard (B.A. 1961, Ph.D. 1967) – Management consultant, co-author of The One Minute Manager
  • Alfred Blumstein (B.A., Ph.D) – Criminologist and former dean of the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Kimberle Crenshaw: Founder of Critical Race Theory, highly influential black feminist and race theorist
  • Harry Edwards (Ph.D. 1970) – sociologist noted for work on race and sports, Professor Emeritus at University of California, Berkeley
  • Daniel A. Foss (B.A.) – Sociologist, author of Beyond Revolution: A New Theory of Social Movements (1986), Freak Culture: Life Style and Politics (1972)
  • John Naisbitt (Best-selling writer in the area of futures studies
  • Tom Peters (B.C.E. 1965, M.C.E. 1966) – Business management motivational guru
  • Julian Steward (B.A. 1925 Zoology and Biology) – Anthropologist best known for his development of a scientific theory of cultural evolution




  • Edwin G. Boring (1908, Ph.D. 1915 Psychology; Instructor of Psychology 1913–18) – Historian of psychology
  • Urie Bronfenbrenner (B.A. 1938 Psychology and Music; Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Human Development and Psychology) – Psychologist, pioneer in developmental psychology (Ecological Systems Theory), founder of field Human Ecology, co-founder of national Head Start program
  • Joyce Brothers (B.S. 1947) – Author, psychologist, and television personality
  • James Maas (M.A., Ph.D.; Professor of Psychology) – Psychologist, coined the term "power nap"
  • Abraham Maslow (undergrad 1928–29, transferred) – Psychologist best known for his Hierarchy of Human Needs
  • Frank Parsons (B.S. Civil Engineering) Founder of the field of vocational psychology.



  • John Arthur (B.A.) – an expert in legal theory, constitutional theory, social ethics, and political philosophy
  • Francis Fukuyama (B.A.) – an American philosopher, political economist, and professor at Johns Hopkins University
  • Edmund Gettier – American philosopher and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; owes his reputation to a single three-page paper published in 1963 called "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?"
  • Sterling Harwood (J.D. 1983, M.A. 1986 & Ph.D. 1992) – Philosopher, author of "Eleven Objections to Utilitarianism"
  • Thomas Nagel (B.A. 1958) – Philosopher, author of What is it like to be a bat?
  • George Ashton Oldham (A.B. 1902) – Episcopal Bishop, peace activist, and writer
  • Samuel Weber (Ph.D. 1960) – Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University, as well as a professor at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland
  • Paul Ziff (B.F.A. 1949, Ph.D. 1951) – American artist and philosopher specializing in semantics and aesthetics



  • Glenn C. Altschuler (Ph.D. 1976) - Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies and Vice President for University Relations at Cornell University
  • Barbara Watson Andaya (Ph.D. 1975) - Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies
  • Leonard Andaya (Ph.D. 1972) - Professor of Southeast Asian History at the University of Hawaii
  • Charnvit Kasetsiri (Ph.D. 1972) – Thai historian and former President of Thammasat University
  • William McNeill (Ph.D. 1947) – Historian, author of The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community
  • Anthony Milner (Ph.D.) – Basham Professor of Asian History, School of Culture, History & Language, Australian National University
  • Milton Osborne (Ph.D.) – Australian historian, author, and consultant specializing in Southeast Asia.
  • Merle Calvin Ricklefs (Ph.D.) – Scholar of the history and current affairs of Indonesia
  • Kazys Varnelis (M.A. 1990, Ph.D. 1994) – historian and theorist of architecture, specializing in network culture
  • David K. Wyatt (Ph.D. 1966) – John Stambaugh Professor of History and Asian Studies, Emeritus, Cornell University


Architecture and design

Fine arts and photography

  • Joel Perlman (B.F.A 1965) - Sculptor
  • Susan Rothenberg (B.F.A. 1967) – Painter
  • Pat Lipsky (B.F.A. 1963) – Painter
  • John Rosenbaum (M.E.P. 1957) – Kinetic Artist, Educator
  • Frederick Sommer (M.A. 1927 Landscape Architecture) – Photographer
  • Hugh Troy (undergrad 1922–27, did not graduate) – Artist, famous prankster
  • James De La Vega – Muralist, street artist in Harlem, NY
  • Jill Magid (B.F.A 1995) – Performance Artist
  • Thomas N. Armstrong[8] (B.F.A. 1954-Art History) - Director of the Whitney Museum



Film, television and theatre




Chairpersons, CEOs, executives


American football

Ice hockey


See also: Cornell Olympians



  • Nick Berg (undergrad 1996–98, transferred) – Businessman beheaded by Islamic militants on May 7, 2004 during the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq
  • Leo Frank (B.S. 1906 Engineering) – Factory owner whose 1915 lynching for rape and murder sparked the reforming of the Ku Klux Klan; subject of the musical Parade
  • Mark Gerard, (D.V.M., 1962) Perpetuated horse racing fraud, switching horses identities[17]
  • Katrina Leung (B.S. 1976) – Accused spy, case dismissed then later sentenced to terms of plea agreement
  • Robert Tappan Morris (graduate study 1988–89, suspended) – Author of the Morris Worm, which crippled the Internet in 1988
  • Michael Ross (B.S. 1981 Agricultural Economics) – Convicted serial killer executed in Connecticut on May 13, 2005
  • Michael Schwerner (B.A. 1961 Sociology) – Murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1964 Mississippi civil rights worker murders
  • Mark Whitacre (Ph.D. 1983 Nutritional Biochemistry) – Highest ranked executive in U.S. history of a Fortune 500 company to turn whistleblower and FBI informant; he pled guilty to fraud

Fictional Cornellians

See also


  1. ^ Neuharth, Dani (September 10, 2010). "Czech President Klaus ’69 To Speak at Cornell | The Cornell Daily Sun". Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ Pace, Eric. "Peter T. Farrell, 91; Judge Who Presided At the Sutton Trial", The New York Times, November 10, 1992. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  3. ^ Crawford, Franklin (March 6, 2007). "Program connects law school and Thailand". Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Matt Urban – UXL Newsmakers". 2005. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  5. ^ Grimes, William (April 20, 2011). "Alfred Freedman, a Leader in Psychiatry, Dies at 94". The New York Times. 
  6. ^, checked 4/11/07
  7. ^ "G. P. Rea New Head of Curb Exchange". New York Times. April 21, 1939. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  8. ^ Grimes, William (June 22, 2011). "Thomas N. Armstrong III, Whitney Museum Chief, Dies at 78". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ also lectured in journalism at Cornell from 1903–1904 "Julius Chambers" in Dictionary of American Biography (1936) Charles Scribner's Sons, New York
  10. ^ Jamie (Reed) Kovac bio on American Gladiator. Retrieved 02-16-2008.
  11. ^ "David Seidler ’59 Wins Oscar for The Kings Speech". The Cornell Daily Sun. February 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Kenneth E. Wing (served 1992–2002)". SUNY Cobleskill. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 
  13. ^ "PASSINGS: Bill Mulligan, Al Bernardin". Los Angeles Times. January 13, 2010.,0,6995247.story. Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  14. ^ "DVS CEO Lecture Series Continues With Raj Gupta, President, CEO Rohm and Haas" (PDF). AIChE Newsletter – Delaware Valley Section 53 (3): p. 1. December 2005. Retrieved January 14, 2008 
  15. ^ "The Bo You Didn't Know" (PDF). Archived from the original on June 15, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2006. 
  16. ^ Kennedy, Mac. "BL and The Orioles: Shared Roots," Laker Legacy, Spring 2007: 20.[dead link] – The Boys' Latin School of Maryland alumni magazine.
  17. ^ Grimes, William (June 27, 2011). "Mark Gerard, 76, Veterinarian at Center of a Horse Race Fraud". The New York Times. 


External links

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