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Incredible Alumni

They were smart when they got here, but they left with something more.

The definition of success for a William & Mary graduate is doing something you love and doing it well. Very well.

For some of our graduates, this means pioneering human rights for women and war refugees. For others, it means following a dream and becoming an author, an Olympic athlete, a biomedical researcher or the creator of an award-winning sitcom. Still others soar to the top of the business world or serve the nation as members of Congress, diplomats and even a few presidents.

Here are a few impressive folks we're proud to call William & Mary alumni:

  • Jon Stewart '84 - psychology major, nine-time Emmy Award winning comedian and satirist, host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show
  • Robert M. Gates '65 - history major, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, W&M's 24th Chancellor
  • James B. Comey '82 - chemistry and religion double major, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Ellen Renee Stofan '83 - geology major, NASA chief scientist
  • Mike Tomlin '95 - sociology major, current head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Christina Romer '81 - economics major, former chair of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers
  • Michael K. Powell '85 - government major, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, former Rector for the W&M Board of Visitors
  • Katherine Boo '86 - English major, journalist and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship "Genius Award" 2003
  • Jerry Coyne '71 - biology major, author/researcher of speciation and evolutionary genetics
  • Brian L. Hyde '96 - business administration major, member U.S. Olympic track team
  • Perry Ellis '61 - business administration major, fashion designer
  • Glenn Close '74 - theatre/speech major, Emmy and Tony award-winning actress
  • Lewis Puller '67, J.D. '74 - history major, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography, Fortunate Son
  • Capt. David Brown '78 - biology major, surgeon, naval pilot, Columbia space shuttle astronaut
  • Thomas Jefferson 1762 - third President of the United States, author of the Declaration of Independence
  • James Monroe 1778 - fifth President of the United States, author of the Monroe Doctrine

Across the board, our highly successful alumni credit their experiences at William & Mary for shaping and inspiring their future work. Let’s hear what a few of them have to say:

Kunal Bhatia '09

Senior Analyst in Investment Banking at Credit Suisse in New York

"The academic rigor, among other challenges, at William & Mary adequately prepared me for real-life obstacles. The lessons I learned as an undergrad and the incredible support of Tribe alumni have helped my career in finance blossom through a historically difficult economy."

Andrew Zawacki '94

Rhodes and Fulbright Scholar, award-winning poet, assistant professor of English and creative writing at the University of Georgia

"Of all the universities I've experienced, William & Mary offers the most personal and individualized education. Even after I graduated, professors I'd formed strong relationships with continued to support and encourage me. That's pretty exceptional."

Cosmo Fujiyama '07

President and co-founder of Students Helping Honduras

“I believe that we have a responsibility to build bridges that connect communities together and link our common causes. With each step we take and each part of the bridge we build, we move forth and create the world we envision. William and Mary has provided me with the tools to build many bridges that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Kendrick Ashton '98

Varsity football player, J.D./M.B.A. student at the University of Chicago, associate at Perella Weinberg Partners in New York

"William & Mary stretched me intellectually. It gave me the skills to pull together diverse ideas in a coherent thesis, to see through complexity to the crux of a problem. It was a superb preparation for the challenges of law school."

Veronika Martin '90

Former Director of Human Rights for Refugee International, Washington, D.C.

"As a confused student visiting William & Mary's career services, I got some wonderful advice: Study what you love. The opportunities and the rewards will come."

Bruce Spiegelman '74

Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, international authority on the physiology of fat production and maintenance

“In many ways I feel that I got my start as a biochemist at William & Mary in the early 1970s, back when I signed up for… organic chemistry. I think that course really changed my life—and I wound up becoming a biochemist as a result.”

Doug Bunch '02, J.D. '06

Associate, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

"It was my liberal arts education, morever, that led me to reach outside my legal career to co-found Global Playground, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization which builds schools in developing countries and then facilitates cross-cultural dialogue among children at those schools and here in the United States. William & Mary cultivates deep concern for the lives of others, which I've integrated into my life as an attorney."