Well-Known Personalities Who Graduated From UNCF Schools

  • A. Phillip Randolph - civil rights activist (Bethune-Cookman)
  • James Weldon Johnson - writer of the Negro National Anthem, "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" (Clark Atlanta)
  • Marva Collins - Chicago educator (Clark Atlanta)
  • Jacque Reid - journalist (Clark Atlanta)
  • Dr. Ruth Simmons - Brown University president and first African American to head an Ivy League university (Dillard)
  • Nikki Giovanni - poet (Fisk)
  • Matthew Knowles - music industry executive (Fisk)
  • Hazel O'Leary, Esq. - former U.S. Secretary of Energy, president of Fisk University (Fisk)
  • John Hope Franklin - historian (Fisk)
  • U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) (Fisk)
  • U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (Fisk)
  • Marion Barry - former mayor of Washington, DC (Fisk and LeMoyne-Owen)
  • Richard Arrington - first African American mayor of Birmingham (Miles)
  • Samuel L. Jackson - actor (Morehouse)
  • Spike Lee - writer, producer, director (Morehouse)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. (Morehouse)
  • Maynard Jackson - politician (Morehouse)
  • Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF (Morehouse)
  • Edwin Moses - Olympic athlete (Morehouse)
  • David Satcher, MD - former U.S. Surgeon General (Morehouse)
  • Louis Sullivan, MD - former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Morehouse)
  • Lerone Bennett - noted historian, editor at Ebony magazine (Morehouse)
  • Julian Bond - politician, chairman of the NAACP (Morehouse)
  • U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) (Morehouse)
  • U.S. Rep. Major Owens (D-NY) (Morehouse and Clark Atlanta)
  • Little Richard - singer (Oakwood)
  • Take 6 - acappella vocal group (Oakwood)
  • Dr. Prezell Robinson - former president, St. Augustine's College (St. Augustine's)
  • Willie Gary - attorney, activist, philanthropist (Shaw)
  • Audrey Forbes Manley, MD, MPH - former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General, former acting U.S. Surgeon General, former president of Spelman College (Spelman)
  • Keisha Knight Pulliam - actress, "The Cosby Show" (Spelman)
  • Tanika Ray - television host, "Extra" (Spelman)
  • Shaun Robinson - television host, "Access Hollywood" (Spelman)
  • LaTanya Richardson Jackson - actress (Spelman)
  • Rolanda Watts - TV host/actress (Spelman)
  • Marian Wright Edelman - founder/president, Children's Defense Fund (Spelman)
  • Tina McElroy Ansa - author (Spelman)
  • Col. Rosetta Armour-Lightner - first woman instructor at any Air Force ROTC unit (at Ohio State University); first African American woman line colonel in the Air Force (Talledega)
  • U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) (Tougaloo)
  • Ralph Ellison - author (Tuskegee)
  • Lionel Richie - singer/composer (Tuskegee)
  • Gen. Daniel (Chappie) James - first African American Air Force four-star general, Tuskegee Airman (Tuskegee)
  • Gen. Russell C. Davis - first African American Air National Guard general (Tuskegee)
  • Dr. Betty Shabazz - human rights pioneer, wife of Malcolm X (Tuskegee)
  • Keenan Ivory Wayans - actor, writer, producer, director (Tuskegee)
  • Ralph Ellison - author, "The Invisible Man" (Tuskegee)
  • Tom Joyner - radio personality, philanthropist (Tuskegee)
  • Randall Robinson - founder TransAfrica (Virginia Union)
  • Douglas Wilder - first African American governor of Virginia, current mayor of Richmond, VA (Virginia Union)
  • Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake - former U.S. Representative-NY, president of Wilberforce (Wilberforce)
  • Leontyne Price - opera singer (Wilberforce)
  • James Farmer - civil rights activist, one of "The Great Debaters" (Wiley)
  • Alvin J. Boutte - founder and CEO of Indecorp, the largest black-owned U.S. financial institution (Xavier)
  • Alexis Herman - former U.S. Secretary of Labor (Xavier)