60 Notable Alumni of Texas Colleges and Universities

From famous actors to former presidents, Texas colleges have racked up some truly impressive alumni. Browse our list of 60 notable names.
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The relationships you make in college can last a lifetime — and can help your career. Take University of Texas alumni Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson, who met in their sophomore year and have since made eight critically acclaimed films together.

The relationships between current students and graduates can also be powerful. Alumni often retain strong ties to their alma mater, providing mentorship to students, giving talks on campus, or even stepping in to teach like UT Austin’s Matthew McConaughey.

Notable alumni may not fall high on your list of considerations when choosing a college, but it’s worth investigating. Alumni associations can help you connect with potential future employers. Plus, it’s just plain fun to have some pride in attending the same school as a superstar.

Note: Asterisk indicates they attended the college or university but did not graduate from the school.

University of Houston Notable Alumni

From stadiums to the senate, University of Houston graduates have made their mark. UH alumni include famous actors, politicians, and one of the most decorated female gymnasts in U.S. history.

  • Mary Kay Ash, Cosmetics Company Founder, 1943
  • Tom Landry, Football Coach, 1952
  • Kenny Rogers, Musician, 1958
  • Tom DeLay, U.S. Congressman, 1969
  • Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator, 1970
  • Dennis Quaid, Actor*
  • Jim Parsons, Actor, 1996
  • Shannon Miller, Gymnast, 2003

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University of Texas at Austin Notable Alumni

UT Austin has arguably the most name recognition of any Texas school, and that holds true of its alumni, too. From Matthew McConaughey to Bill Moyers, these famous Longhorns certainly left a legacy behind.

  • Bill Moyers, Journalist, 1956
  • Farrah Fawcett, Actress, 1965
  • Laura Bush, Former First Lady, 1973
  • Marcia Gay Harden, Actress, 1980
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, 1983
  • Wes Anderson, Film Director, 1991
  • Renée Zellweger, Actress, 1992
  • Matthew McConaughey, Actor, 1993
  • Stacey Abrams, Activist and Politician, 1998
  • Robert Rodriguez, Film Director, 2008
  • Roger Clemens, Baseball Player*
  • Walter Cronkite, Broadcaster*
  • Kevin Durant, Basketball Player*
  • Janis Joplin, Musician*
  • Owen Wilson, Actor*

Texas A&M University Notable Alumni

This public university located in College Station is not only the biggest university in Texas, it’s also the largest college in the entire U.S. With so many students, it’s no wonder the school has racked up some notable names on its alumni list.

  • Rick Perry, Politician, 1972
  • Lyle Lovett, Musician, 1979
  • Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku, 1987
  • Eva Longoria, Actress, 1998
  • T. Boone Pickens, Oil Billionaire*
  • Rip Torn, Actor*

Baylor University Notable Alumni

Baylor University — a private Christian research university in Waco, Texas — has hosted a truly eclectic mix of now-famous former students, including the only modern-day ventriloquist to be a household name.

  • Jeff Dunham, Comedian and Ventriloquist, 1986
  • Angela Kinsey, Actress, 1993
  • Brittney Griner, Basketball Player, 2019
  • Willie Nelson, Musician*
  • Rand Paul, U.S. Senator*

Texas Christian University Notable Alumni

Though this private research university in Fort Worth may not be as well-known as some of the state’s public flagships, some of the school’s alumni are very well-known for their contributions to journalism, sports, and the arts.

  • Bob Schieffer, Journalist, 1959
  • Sandra Brown, Author, 1969
  • Sue Monk Kidd, Author, 1970
  • LaDainian Tomlinson, Football Player, 2000
  • Travis Willingham, Voice Actor, 2003

Texas Southern University Notable Alumni

Megan Thee Stallion might be the most recent superstar graduate of this historically Black university in Houston, but she’s not the only famous alum.

  • Barbara Jordan, Lawyer and Politician, 1956
  • Mickey Leland, U.S. Congressman and Activist, 1970
  • Yolanda Adams, Musician, 1984
  • Megan Thee Stallion, Musician, 2021

Texas Tech University Notable Alumni

John Denver’s most famous song might be about West Virginia, but he also has roots in Lubbock, Texas as a student at Texas Tech. Red Raider alums also include actors and one of the astronauts who tragically lost their lives during the Columbia space shuttle disaster.

  • Barry Corbin, Actor, 1964
  • Rick Husband, Astronaut, 1980
  • George Eads, Actor, 1989
  • John Denver, Musician*
  • Scott Pelley, Journalist*

Texas State University Notable Alumni

In addition to the standard slate of actors, musicians, and pro sports stars you’ll find on most colleges’ notable alumni lists, Texas State University has a unique claim to alumni fame as the only university in Texas that has graduated a former U.S. president.

  • Lyndon B. Johnson, Former U.S. President, 1930
  • Powers Boothe, Actor, 1970
  • George Strait, Musician, 1979
  • Shawn Michaels, Wrestler*

University of North Texas Notable Alumni

This public research university in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has had its fair share of authors, athletes, actors, and musicians pass through on their path to fame.

  • Larry McMurtry, Author, 1958
  • Joe Green, Football Player, 1968
  • Steve Austin, Wrestler*
  • Thomas Haden Church, Actor*
  • Don Henly, Musician*
  • Norah Jones, Musician*
  • Meat Loaf, Musician*
  • Anne Rice, Author*

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