Resources for... William & Mary
William & Mary W&M menu close William & Mary

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 more than a few U.S. presidents (only Harvard and Yale can claim more). Across the board, our highly successful alumni credit their experiences at William & Mary for shaping and inspiring their future work.

We count four U.S. Presidents among our alumni — so far: 

  • Thomas Jefferson 
  • James Monroe 
  • John Tyler 
  • George Washington

And while it would be impossible to list them all — though there's a long list of our notable alumni on Wikipedia — here's a sampling of impressive folks we're also proud to claim:

  • Glenn Close '74 - theatre and anthropology double major, Emmy and Tony award-winning actress
  • Beth Comstock '82 - biology major, former vice chair of General Electric and co-founder of Hulu
  • Jill Ellis '88 - English major, winningest coach in U.S. Soccer history, including back-to-back World Cups
  • Perry Ellis '61 - business administration major, fashion designer
  • Robert Gates '65 - history major, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, W&M's 24th Chancellor
  • Chip Mason '59 - economics major, founder of Legg Mason
  • Jim McGlothlin '62, J.D. ’64 - psychology major, owner of The United Company
  • Joe Plumeri '66 - history and education major, one of the world's 100 Most Influential People in Finance
  • Ellen Stofan '83 - geology major, recent NASA chief scientist and current under secretary for science and research at the Smithsonian
  • Mike Tomlin '95 - sociology major, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Mary Jo White ’70 - psychology major, former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission