Famous Hoosier Alumni


Booker T. Jones, the Undergraduate Commencement speaker, gives advice to the crowd of graduates at the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at Assembly Hall. An IU Alumnus and Grammy winner, Jones was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music. Steph Aaronson Buy Photos

The son of former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, Bayh followed in his father’s political footsteps. After serving as Governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997, the 1978 Kelley School of Business grad served as U.S. Senator from 1999 to 2011.

A native of Bloomington, Bell is a Grammy award-winning violinist. In 2007, the Jacobs School of Music alumnus joined the faculty as a senior lecturer.

This famous jazz pianist and composer actually attended IU’s Maurer School of Law, earning his degree in 1926. Carmichael worked with the likes of Bix Beiderbecke and Louis Armstrong, and his most notable works are “Stardust” and “Georgia On My Mind.”

After graduating from IU with a double major in Drama and Telecommunications, Collins worked on several Nickelodeon shows including “Clarissa Explains It All” and “The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.” Recently, she’s seen major success as the author of the best-selling “The Hunger Games” series.

The leader of Stax’s house band Booker T. & The MGs spent much of his IU career driving between Bloomington and Memphis, Tenn., to play with his band on the weekends. The award-winning composer of “Green Onions,” Jones was recently IU’s 2012 Spring Commencement speaker, where he also received an honorary doctorate degree from Jacobs.

Murphy has been at the helm of hit television shows such as “Nip/Tuck,” “Glee” and “American Horror Story.” While at IU, he wrote for the Indiana Daily Student and was a member of the Singing Hoosiers.

Shortz, now the editor of the New York Times daily crossword puzzle, graduated from IU in 1974. He participated in the Individualized Major Program, creating a curriculum for “enigmatology,” which is the study of puzzles. Read Inside Magazine’s Q&A with Shortz.

This Olympic gold medalist swimmer, who won seven medals in 1972, has only been surpassed by Michael Phelps, who won eight in 2008. While at IU, Spitz trained with legendary coach Doc Counsilman, and went on to win eight individual NCAA titles.

Uslan is a producer of the Batman movies. An avid comic book collector, he donated his entire collection of over 30,000 comics to the Lilly Library in 2005. Read IDS’ interview with Uslan.

Watson is famous for his co-discovery of the structure of DNA with Francis Crick in 1953, and went on to write 1968’s best-seller “The Double Helix.” Three years prior to his and Crick’s discovery, Watson received his Ph.D. in Zoology from IU.

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Bloomington venues satisfy every taste

Despite its small town feel, Bloomington has a lively music and arts scene. Check out this sampling of venues for a variety of acts any time you’re visiting.

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