Mizzou Homecoming: Famous Alums

Thousands and thousands of students have graduated from the University of Missouri since it opened in 1839. Every year, thousands ‘come home’ to celebrate homecoming in Columbia. Mizzou has also produced countless notable alums. Check out the full list here and some highlights below…you never know who you may run into at homecoming!

-Stage and Screen

Jon Hamm

Hamm attended Mizzou where he answered an advertisement from a theater company looking for players in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, auditioned, and was cast in the production. After graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Hamm returned to his high school to teach eighth-grade acting. Hamm gained global recognition for playing advertising executive Don Draper in the AMC drama series Mad Men, which premiered in July 2007. Hamm’s performance earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 2008. Aside from his work on Mad Men, Hamm appeared in the 2008 science fiction remake, The Day the Earth Stood Still and claimed his first leading film role in the independent thriller Stolen (2010). Hamm had a supporting role in the 2010 crime film The Town and in Sucker Punch and Bridesmaids in 2011.

Sheryl Crow

At Mizzou, Crow was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, ODK, Homecoming Steering Committee and served as a Summer Welcome leader. Crow graduated from Mizzou in 1984 with a degree in music education. In 1996, she released her self-titled album with the hit singles “If It Makes You Happy,” “Everyday Is a Winding Road,” and “A Change Would Do You Good.” The album went triple-platinum, and Crow brought home Grammys for Best Rock Album and Best Female Rock Vocals. Since then, she has recorded other hit albums, including the recent “Detours” album and “C’mon”, with the hit “Soak Up the Sun.”
Crow returned to Mizzou in 2002 to perform a concert and again in 2003 to serve as the Homecoming Grand Marshal.

George C. Scott

He entered the University of Missouri as a journalism student, but graduated in 1953 with degrees in English and drama. He spent seven years in regional repertory theater and taught a drama course at Stephens College before moving to New York City. He held roles in several theatrical, television, and film productions, and is best known for his Academy-Award winning performance in the title role of “Patton” (1970). Scott died on September 22, 1999.

-Journalists

Russ Mitchell

He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Mitchell currently co-anchors CBS News Saturday Morning, which he has done since November 1997. He also serves as one of the primary anchors of the CBS Evening News Saturday Edition, and as a CBS News correspondent, contributing to many broadcasts, including the CBS Evening News With Dan Rather, first from Washington, D.C. and currently from New York.

John Anderson

While a Mizzou student, Anderson was a varsity letter winner in track and field. He graduated with a degree in journalism in 1987. Anderson currently serves as co-anchor of ESPN SportsCenter. He joined ESPN in June 1999 as an ESPNEWS anchor after spending nine years as a sports anchor for local stations in Tulsa and Phoenix. In 2002, Anderson returned to Mizzou to serve as the Homecoming Grand Marshal.

Jim Lehrer

He is a graduate of Victoria College in Texas and a 1956 graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School. After three years as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, he worked for ten years in Dallas as a newspaperman and then as the host of a local experimental news program on public television. He came to Washington with PBS in 1972, teaming with Robert MacNeil in 1973 to cover the Senate Watergate hearings. They began in 1975 what became The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, and, in 1983, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, the first 60-minute evening news program on television. When MacNeil retired in 1995, the program was renamed The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Lehrer has been honored with numerous awards for journalism, including a presidential National Humanities Medal in 1999. In the last four presidential elections, he moderated nine of the nationally televised candidate debates.

-Other Notables

Mort Walker

Mort Walker was born in 1923 in El Dorado, Kansas. He published his first comic when he was 11, and at 18, he became chief editorial designer at Hall Bros., ushering in a light, playful style for the company’s Hallmark Cards line. In 1943, Walker was drafted into the Army. He was discharged as a first lieutenant four years later, and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1948. While at Mizzou, he was a member of Kappa Sigma and an editor of the school magazine.His first big break came in 1950, when King Features picked up “Beetle Bailey” for syndication. King Features now distributes “Beetle Bailey” to roughly 1,800 newspapers. A statue of Beetle Bailey sits in front of Reynolds Alumni Center in recognition of Walker’s talents.

Linda Godwin

Linda Godwin was born on July 2, 1952 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Southeast Missouri State University in 1974, and earned a master’s and a doctorate degree from the University of Missouri in 1976 and 1980.
Dr. Godwin joined NASA in 1980 in the Payload Operations Division and was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1985. She is a veteran of four space flights and is a recipient of the NASA Outstanding Performance Rating, Sustained Superior Performance Award, and Outstanding Leadership Award.

Norm Stewart

“Stormin” Norm Stewart, best known for his 32-year career as head basketball coach at Mizzou, is the only person in the school’s history to be inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame as both a student-athlete and coach.
The Shelbyville, Missouri native and double threat lettered in both basketball and baseball at MU in 1954, 1955 and 1956. Stewart still ranks fourth at Mizzou for his 24.1 point scoring average in ’56. He was drafted into the NBA for the St. Louis Hawks as well as the MLB for the Baltimore Orioles upon graduation. After six seasons as head coach for the University of Northern Iowa, Stewart returned to his beloved alma mater to begin his tenure as head coach at the University of Missouri in 1967. As one of college basketball’s greatest coaches, Steward won eight Big Eight Conference championships and six conference tournament titles. Under him, the Tigers appeared in 15 NCAA Tournaments, including two elite eights. Stewart missed part of the 89-90 season to fight his battle with colon cancer, leading him to found Coaches vs. Cancer, an organization that raises millions of dollars for research on the disease to this day. Stewart retired in 1999 and was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

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