22 Notable Cleveland Grads (And a Few Dropouts)

Northeast Ohio colleges have a long legacy of successful grads. There's also a few people who have dropped out and gone on to become world-famous and wildly successful - not that we encourage anyone to bank on that, but it's happened. Here are just a few of the famous alumni from our colleges that you may have heard of.

By Jason Meek

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Halle Berry - Cuyahoga Community College
The Hollywood actress is a Cleveland native who briefly pursued a broadcast journalism degree from Tri-C before dropping out to pursue her acting and modeling career. 
(Photo via Flickr CC, Lynze)
Halle Berry - Cuyahoga Community College
The Hollywood actress is a Cleveland native who briefly pursued a broadcast journalism degree from Tri-C before dropping out to pursue her acting and modeling career. (Photo via Flickr CC, Lynze)
Michael Keaton - Kent State University
Last year’s Academy Award winner for best actor, as well as the best actor to portray Batman, had a rough start to his acting career. He dropped out of Kent State after two years and struggled for a few years – including some work as an assistant on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood – before getting his first hit with Mr. Mom. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Michael Keaton - Kent State University
Last year’s Academy Award winner for best actor, as well as the best actor to portray Batman, had a rough start to his acting career. He dropped out of Kent State after two years and struggled for a few years – including some work as an assistant on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood – before getting his first hit with Mr. Mom. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
The Black Keys - University of Akron
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney were childhood friends who attended the University of Akron together before dropping out. In 2001, they joined up as rock duo The Black Keys.
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
The Black Keys - University of Akron
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney were childhood friends who attended the University of Akron together before dropping out. In 2001, they joined up as rock duo The Black Keys. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Connie Schultz - Kent State University
In 2005, Schultz won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her columns in the Plain Dealer. She had already been a Pulitzer finalist in 2003 for feature writing. Before all that acclaim, she was a journalism student at Kent State and graduated in 1979.
(Photo via Helder Mira, flickr)
Connie Schultz - Kent State University
In 2005, Schultz won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her columns in the Plain Dealer. She had already been a Pulitzer finalist in 2003 for feature writing. Before all that acclaim, she was a journalism student at Kent State and graduated in 1979. (Photo via Helder Mira, flickr)
William Goldman - Oberlin College
The author of The Princess Bride was an Oberlin grad? Inconceivable! Goldman’s other well-known works include the screenplays for Buth Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, and Misery. 
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
William Goldman - Oberlin College
The author of The Princess Bride was an Oberlin grad? Inconceivable! Goldman’s other well-known works include the screenplays for Buth Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, and Misery. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Craig Newmark - Case Western Reserve University
Yes, THE Craig – the one with the list. You’ll find all kinds of people on Craigslist, but Newmark himself is a dedicated philanthropist and a supporter of using technology to give a voice to the voiceless.
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Craig Newmark - Case Western Reserve University
Yes, THE Craig – the one with the list. You’ll find all kinds of people on Craigslist, but Newmark himself is a dedicated philanthropist and a supporter of using technology to give a voice to the voiceless. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Frank G. Jackson - Cleveland State University
Current Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson attended Cuyahoga Community College after serving in the U.S. Army. He later went to law school at Cleveland State. 
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Frank G. Jackson - Cleveland State University
Current Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson attended Cuyahoga Community College after serving in the U.S. Army. He later went to law school at Cleveland State. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Wayne Dawson - Kent State University
Dawson is the co-anchor for Fox 8 News in the Morning, Cleveland’s most popular morning show. Before that, he was an anchor and reporter at WNIR radio in Kent.
(Photo via Facebook)
Wayne Dawson - Kent State University
Dawson is the co-anchor for Fox 8 News in the Morning, Cleveland’s most popular morning show. Before that, he was an anchor and reporter at WNIR radio in Kent. (Photo via Facebook)
John de Lancie - Kent State University
Kent State grad John de Lancie was involved in the drama program in college and went on to portray one of Star Trek’s more bizarre recurring antagonists, Q, in several different generations of the series. More recently, he’s appeared in Breaking Bad and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
(Photo via John de Lancie)
John de Lancie - Kent State University
Kent State grad John de Lancie was involved in the drama program in college and went on to portray one of Star Trek’s more bizarre recurring antagonists, Q, in several different generations of the series. More recently, he’s appeared in Breaking Bad and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (Photo via John de Lancie)
Joe and Anthony Russo - Case Western Reserve University
The Russo brothers are known as the executive producers and directors of Community, but their actual college experience was at Case. Their first film, Pieces, was started while they were still students. They came back to Cleveland to film some of the scenes in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Joe and Anthony Russo - Case Western Reserve University
The Russo brothers are known as the executive producers and directors of Community, but their actual college experience was at Case. Their first film, Pieces, was started while they were still students. They came back to Cleveland to film some of the scenes in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)