September 6, 2022 at 3:04 pm

10 Celebrities Who Graduated From Ivy League Universities

by Matthew Gilligan

It’s easy to make fun of celebrities and think they’re all empty-headed, but that’s actually far from the truth!

Here are 10 famous folks who went to Ivy League universities and they even GRADUATED!

Take a look and prepare to be impressed.

1. Brooke Shields

Actress/model Shields was a huge star in the 1980s but she still took time to get her education. She graduated with honors from Princeton in 1987 with a degree in Romantic Languages.

Because she was so well-known, Shields had to deal with pesky paparazzi. She said, “The paparazzi tried to sneak onto campus, dressed like what they thought college students looked like, and follow me around. The students were great, and they alerted the school and me if anyone saw anybody suspicious.”

“One photographer hid in a vent to photograph me walking to a class; another attempted to bribe a Mathey College freshman to take a camera into the showers and snap me in the nude. They would have been in for a surprise if they tried, because I had taken to showering in a one-piece bathing suit!”

2. Jodie Foster

Foster graduated from Yale in 1986 with a degree in Literature.

When she was a Freshman, Foster was stalked by John Hinckley, Jr., the man who attempted to a**assinate President Ronald Reagan. Hinckley followed Foster on campus and it came out later that his attempt on the President’s life was meant to impress the actress.

Foster later said, “Obsession is pain and a longing for something that does not exist. John Hinckley’s greatest crime was the confusion of love and obsession. The trivialization of love is something I will never forgive him. His ignorance only prods me to say that he’s missing a great deal. Love is blissful. Obsession is pitiful, self-indulgent. This is a lesson I’ve learned. I’ll always be wary of people who proclaim their love for me.”

3. Winston Duke

Duke is best known for his movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but he’s no slouch in the education department. Duke received his Bachelor’s degree in acting from Yale in 2012.

In a strange twist of fate, his Black Panther co-star Lupita Nyong’o also went to Yale and was the person assigned to give him a tour of campus and they’ve been friends ever since.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Winston Duke (@winstoncduke)

4. Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling is well known for her television and film work, but she also received a degree in playwriting from Dartmouth in 2001.

She gave the commencement speech at her alma mater in 2018 and even stopped by her old dorm room.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling)

5. John Legend

I think it’s safe to say that John Legend is a prodigy.

The singer graduated from high school at the age of 16 and turned down an offer to go to Harvard to attend the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with a degree in English with a specialization in African American literature in 1999.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by John Legend (@johnlegend)

6. Meryl Streep

Regarded as one of the greatest actors of her generation, Streep graduated from Yale in 1975 with an MFA in Drama and received an Honorary Doctorate from the university in 1983.

Streep said of her time at Yale, “When I was there, from 1972 to 1975, it was a tiny program, and that was one of the great things about it. … I felt guilty [about being cast so much]. I felt I was taking something from people I knew, my friends. I was on a scholarship, and some people had paid a lot of money to be there.

So I went to see a psychiatrist at the school who said, ‘You know what? You’re going to graduate in 11 weeks, and you’ll never be in competition with five women again. You’ll be competing with 5,000 women, and it will be a relief. It will be better or worse, but it won’t be this.’ He was right. It was excellent advice. After I got out, I had a lot of unbelievably good breaks, but they didn’t seem designed at someone else’s expense.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Meryl Streep (@merylstreep)

7. Rashida Jones

The actress graduated from Harvard in 1997 with a degree in Religion and Philosophy.

Jones said she originally wanted to study Law but watching the O.J. Simpson trial made her change her mind so she switched majors and she also joined an a capella group and a drama club on campus.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rashida Jones (@rashidajones)

8. John Krasinski

Actor Krasinski may have played the goofy character Jim on The Office, but in real life, he attended the prestigious Brown University and graduated with a degree in English in 2001.

He joined the Out of Bounds sketch comedy group on campus and said of his experience, “I went in for the audition, and my entire life changed. Nope, not because I got in, not because I started acting. It was through that group that I found my way into this community. It was through that group that I met my people.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by John Krasinski (@johnkrasinski)

9. Natalie Portman

Portman has been in the public eye since she was a child, starring in films like Léon: The Professional and Beautiful Girls when she was still a teenager.

But Portman took time out of her busy acting schedule to go to Harvard and she graduated in 2003 with a degree in Psychology.

Portman said, “I think I was really lucky to have been there before social media. Actually, Facebook was invented when I was a senior by freshman Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard. So I went to school with no Facebook, no Instagram, no cameras on phones.

So I was really able to go about my business and not have it documented for public consumption. Which was really lucky ’cause, guess what? It’s good to, like, make mistakes and do stupid things when you’re a teenager and young adult and not have it haunt you forever.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Natalie Portman (@natalieportman)

10. Elizabeth Banks

Banks received a degree in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996.

She met her husband Max Handelman on her very first day of school at the university and they’ve been together ever since.

How sweet!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Elizabeth Banks (@elizabethbanks)

twistedsifter on facebook 10 Celebrities Who Graduated From Ivy League Universities