September 01, 2014 Slideshows

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Famous Cleveland Alumni (And a Few Dropouts) 

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Ah, the beautiful actress and Cleveland native toiled around the community college campus before launching a longstanding and successful career in Hollywood. Her time at Tri-C somehow falls lower than the movie stuff on her Wikipedia page, but whatever.
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Known for his flat-top haircut, Norris Cole attended CSU from 2007 to 2011 and was drafted by the NBA’s Miami Heat after a historic senior year. CSU Coach Gary Waters recruited Cole from Dayton and Cole became, arguably, the greatest CSU basketball product of all time. He has been in the NBA three years, and has two NBA championships — as many as LeBron James — to show for it.
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Legendary Cleveland City Council President George Forbes attended BW on the GI bill after serving with the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated in 1957 and went on to attain his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. He retains star power to this day, inserting himself in major political conversations that continue to shape the region and its prospects.
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The former OSU football coach has just been installed as president of Youngstown State University. He graduated from BW in 1975 after starting as QB for the football team, which his father, Lee Tressel, coached. (Tressel’s mother was also the athletic historian at BW at the time).
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The mayor of this fair city and Vietnam War vet — who knew? — graduated from CSU after getting his associate degree from Tri-C. Jackson got his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall and became a diehard neighborhood advocate as a Ward 5 councilman and city council president. Ironic how he was a staunch critic of Mayor Michael White, whom Jackson always said focused too much on downtown despite campaigning to restore Cleveland’s neighborhoods. In Cleveland, the critics are only critics until they’re in positions of power; then it’s the same old song and dance.
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The Girls creator and indie darling Lena Dunham graduated from Oberlin in 2008. She has since become one of the preeminent “voices of her gen-eration,” chronicling the ambivalence and malaise of young New Yorkers in love and loss in a show you say you hate but watch anyway.
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One half of the founding team of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (actually Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings Inc.), Greenfield attended Oberlin and stud-ied pre-med, with every intention of going on to med school. After graduation in ’73, he applied and was rejected in two successive years, so he started an ice cream shop with his buddy Ben Cohen in a gas station in Vermont. The rest is history.
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Born in South Dakota, Gerberding graduated from Case with a degree in bio and chemistry before becoming the first female director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where, among other things, she organized the response to the anthrax terrorist scare of 2001. She’s now a badass infectious disease expert.
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Though the boy mayor attended Cleveland State for three years in the late ’60s, he ultimately graduated from Case with both a Bachelors and a Masters of speech and communication. He went on to become one of the most divisive political figures in Cleveland history, marrying three women, and improbably joining Fox News as a regular contributor.
Photo via Cleveland Scene Archives
The Indians’ play-by-play announcer on SportsTime Ohio is a distinguished alumnus of the BW communications program. He graduated in 1990 and spent his early career with Channel 5 as a producer and nightly sports anchor. He’s been with the Indians since 2000 and calling games on STO since 2007.
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You won’t recognize the name, but Samuels is the president and CEO of Maker’s Mark distillery, which he inherited from his father, William T. Samuels (another Case grad). Samuels studied rocket science and solid propellants at Case, before going on to study law and then spending 40 years perfecting the bourbon we all know and love.
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That’s right, the Sam McNulty — the guru of West 25th Street and the Ohio City yuppie renaissance — graduated with a BA in ’97. He’s been on the forefront of the revitalization of the near west side, and is currently developing condos in that little nook called Duck Island. He’ll be honored at a CSU Alumni Awards ceremony in September.
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The former deputy director of the CIA, Morrell, who received his BA in economics from Akron, is now CBS News’ chief security correspondent. He was a trusted briefer and aide to both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He is a native of Cuyahoga Falls.
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One of the most influential TV journalists of all time, Tim Russert graduated from John Carroll in 1972 before going on to Cleveland-Marshall for his law degree. Russert was the face of NBC’s Meet the Press for 16 years and a regular moderator of major national political debates. JCU has named the communica-tions building in his honor.
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Star of NBC’s Community, Brown was born in East Cleveland and graduated from U. of A. in 1994 with her Bachelors in communications. She went to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting and got lucky, starring in commercials and small TV roles before landing the Shirley Bennett part which has made her famous.
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Bloomfield got her Masters from JCU and went on to become the director of the National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. She’s held that post since 1999, but was a part of the planning process since the mid-80s. She’s become one of the major voices for genocide prevention worldwide.
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Dominique Moceanu | The Olympic gymnast and Cleveland native took home gold with the U.S. team in 1996. Cleveland may be without a championship since 1964, but we got gold, baby.
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The “50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours” author is one of the Plain Dealer’s most widely read and disseminated columnists. She graduated from Kent with a Bachelors in journalism before getting an advanced degree in religious studies at John Carroll. In 2009, she was inducted into the Cleveland Press Club’s Hall of Fame.
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Cleveland-area universities tend to produce not just football players but football minds. Nick Saban, considered by many to be the most powerful head coach in the entire football world (college and professional), graduated from Kent in 1973. He became an assistant coach there while waiting for his wife to graduate and went on to coach at the college and professional level. He has led Alabama to national titles in 2009, 2011, and 2012.
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Sweet Dick, the man who loves l animals and has, as a meteorologist, become one of the most recognizable faces in local TV news, graduated from Kent in 1960, which makes him extremely old. In May of this year, Goddard was trapped in a flash flood off 1-71, but was rescued safely.
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ESPN basketball analyst got his English degree from Oberlin in 1990. He also played point guard on the college basketball team. After college he worked at both the Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon-Journal before heading to the New York Times and, eventually, ESPN.
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A lot of U.S. soccer players past and future | DeAndre Yedlin of World Cup fame, Teal Bunbury, Darlington Nagbe, etc. This is hands down one of the best soccer factories in the country. Preach.
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Yes, one of the Detroit Pistons Bad Boys and (briefly) a Cleveland Cavalier stopped by Tri-C to play ball from 1992 to 1994 and, ostensibly, take some classes, before a long career in the NBA where he was NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times. We’ve never found a shot of Wallace in a Tri-C uniform. If you have one, please do send it our way. The Internet would thank you.
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Others Oberlin grads include House of Cards’ Corey Stoll; novelist Gary Shteyngart, Three Nobel Laureates
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Other notable JCU grads include Mary Rose Oakar; Parma Mayor Timothy DeGeeter; Nicholas Orlando, Co-owner and President of Orlando Baking Company from 1974-2000; a ton of coaches who landed in the NFL and college ranks.
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Others | Charlie Frye, The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney (temporarily)
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Others | Vijaya Lakshmi Emani, local Indian activist; Maureen O’Connor, Ohio Supreme Court Justice; Carl B. Stokes
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Other BW grads include J.R.R. Tolkien Scholar Wayne Hammond; Jane Edna Hunter, the founder of the Phyllis Wheatley Center for the Poor in Cleveland.
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Baldwin-Wallace is home to a few famous dropouts -- Michael Keaton; Drew Carey; David Sedaris; Eagles’ guitaris Joe Walsh; Famous Football Personalities -- Josh Cribbs, Julian Edelman, Paul Warfield.
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Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Ah, the beautiful actress and Cleveland native toiled around the community college campus before launching a longstanding and successful career in Hollywood. Her time at Tri-C somehow falls lower than the movie stuff on her Wikipedia page, but whatever.
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