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First Ladies and Kardashians: The Most Famous Dallas University Graduates and Attendees

School’s in. Maybe you’re a freshman and you’re in a new, exciting place, or maybe you’ve been around awhile. It’s your third, fourth, 10th year at a university, and it’s getting hard to sit in dinky lecture halls and pretend you care about the syllabus. Maybe you need some motivation, a reminder of the infinite possibilities the miracle of education can bring a young soul with as much potential as you.

We've compiled a list of the most famous, notable and interesting alumni at the top universities in DFW. So as you email back and forth with your irrational professors, endure those Satan-spawned group projects and skim read a ton of SparkNotes, maybe you’ll have a reason to keep going. You, too, can achieve greatness.

University of North Texas


Let’s start with you, Mean Green. The Dentonites. With a wicked music program like yours, it’s no wonder people come pouring in with big rock star dreams. So what have you, UNT, produced?

Norah Jones: singer, Grapevine native, the woman born to be the perfect soundtrack to a lazy summer afternoon. Was a member of the UNT Jazz Singers.

Maren Morris: singer, Arlington native, a travel-size Kelly Clarkson, if Clarkson never left the South emotionally.

Dr. Phil: the guy who really keeps us all going.

Jason West: co-creator of Call of Duty.


Texas Christian University


Sorry, Horned Frogs, we don’t have time to dish out famous athlete alums; that would be a whole other article. We’ll give you one, but that’s it!

LaDainian Tomlinson: Pro Football Hall of Fame member, widely considered one of the best running backs of all time.

Bob Schieffer: TV journalist who has interviewed every U.S. president since Nixon.

Shantel VanSanten: one of those “Have I seen her in something before?” actresses. She’s appeared in The Flash and One Tree Hill.


University of Texas at Dallas


UTD has the scariest mascot around by far. It’s a shame the college doesn’t have a football team, because a comet with legs? Frightening.

Michael Burgess: U.S. representative.

James F. Reilly: former NASA astronaut and geologist, you could say he made Temoc proud.

Naveen Jindal: former member of the Indian Parliament.

University of Texas at Arlington


Known to many as the largest university in North Texas, or to some as that school that’s close to Six Flags.

Lou Diamond Phillips: La Bamba actor, the one who looks like a turtle but who's also a cool Filipino guy in a leather jacket.

Doug Russell: Olympic swimmer, former world-record holder in three events. Has two gold medals.

Kenny Bernstein: famous drag racer, maybe got the need for speed from Six Flags, yet to be confirmed.

Charles Baker: Meth-head Skinny Pete in Breaking Bad.

Tommy Franks: former Army general, Commander of the U.S. Central Command.

Texas Woman’s University


The largest state-supported university primarily for women in the United States — so, why are you the Pioneers when you had the perfect opportunity to be the Amazons? No?

Anne Rice: author of the Vampire Chronicles.

Lupe Ontiveros: actress seen in the Goonies and Selena.

Margo Jones: a relevant name to theater nerds.

The verbose and quick-witted Lorelai, aka Lauren Graham, got her start at SMU.EXPAND
The verbose and quick-witted Lorelai, aka Lauren Graham, got her start at SMU.
Albert E. Rodriguez/Getty

Southern Methodist University


With your tuition in the $70,000 range, what do you have to show for it? Sorry, we’re not including billionaire businessmen who run Dallas smoking their cigars or whatever they do, but still there’s some cool former Mustangs to talk about.

Laura Bush: former first librarian of the United States.

Lauren Graham: everyone’s favorite quirky single mom, Lorelai, in Gilmore Girls.

Kathy Bates: Oscar-winning actress who plays medium-sized roles in every other movie. You probably know her.

Brian Baumgartner: Kevin Malone in The Office. Basically, a cultural icon.

Whitney Wolfe Herd: founder of Bumble and co-founder of Tinder, so the person personally responsible for the happiness of America.

Edie Brickell: musician and Steve Martin collaborator.

Kourtney Kardashian: reality TV show star. She attended the school only for two years and then moved to Arizona, of all places.

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