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Famous alumni from UT, TXST and Huston-Tillotson

These local universities have impressive alumni rosters.

A close-up photo of Matthew McConaughey dressed in burnt orange, holding up the hook'em hand signal.

Jack-of-all-trades Matthew McConaughey is very outspoken about the love he has for his alma mater.

Photo via Matthew McConaughey on Instagram

Table of Contents

Why are Austinites so proud of our local universities? Because we’ve got a Texas-sized list of names to show for it.

University of Texas

  • Robert Cade | Class of 1950 | Pre-med | Cade went on to invent Gatorade.
  • Laura Bush | Class of 1973 | Master of Library Science
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson | Class of 1983 | Master of Astronomy
  • Rick Riordan | Class of 1986 | Bachelor of English and History
  • Wes Anderson | Class of 1991 | Bachelor of Philosophy | The now-famous filmmaker had an equally famous college roommate — Owen Wilson — who didn’t graduate.
  • Renée Zellweger | Class of 1992 | Bachelor of English | Zellweger was featured in the Austin-filmed 1993 movie “Dazed and Confused.”
  • Matthew McConaughey | Class of 1993 | Bachelor of Radio-Television-Film | McConaughey has been a visiting instructor at the university since 2015.
  • Brené Brown | Class of 1995 | Master of Social Work

Texas State University

  • Lyndon B. Johnson | Class of 1930 | Bachelor of History | It is TXST tradition to shake the hand of the former president’s on-campus statue at the start of each semester.
  • George Strait | Class of 1979 | Bachelor of Agriculture | The country music legend was granted an honorary doctorate from the institution in 2006.
  • Charles Austin | Class of 1991 | Bachelor of Business Administration | Charles took home an Olympic gold medal for the men’s high jump in 1996.
  • Lizzie Velásquez | Class of 2012 | Bachelor of Communication Studies

Huston-Tillotson University

  • Norman Scales Sr. | Graduated prior to 1940 | Major unknown | Norman became a Tuskegee Airman and the first Black pilot commissioned as a second lieutenant from Austin.
  • Dr. Herman A. Barnett III | Class of 1948 | Pre-med | Later, Dr. Barnett became the first Black man to graduate from UT Medical School.
  • Azie Taylor Morton | Class of 1956 | Bachelor of Commercial Education

Looking for names like Michael Dell, Jon Hamm, and Janis Joplin? While they attended Central Texas universities, they never made it to commencement.