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Celebrities who have appeared on UC's campus

These are non-alumni celebrities. Alumni celebrities are listed under Famous Alumni.

Screen stars

  • Jimmy Dodd (Mickey Mouse Club leader, homecoming parade marshal, 1957)
  • Steve Allen (television personality, TV Academy’s Hall of Fame, appeared at CCM event, 1968) See picture and read more.
  • Phil Donahue, HonDoc ’88 (TV talk-show pioneer, commencement speaker, honorary degree recipient, June 1988)
  • Ben Stiller, Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy (actors, filming “Fresh Horses” on campus, 1988)
  • Jodie Foster (actress, on campus filming “Little Man Tate,” 1991)
  • Ben Stein, HonDoc ’02 (TV series host, commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, 2002) Read more and see photo.
  • Bob Hope, HonDoc ’70 (actor, comedian, UC Fieldhouse, May 1963; guest speaker for UC Day Banquet and received honorary degree, April 1970)
  • Bill Moyers, HonDoc ’98 (PBS and CBS journalist, commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, 1998)
  • Diane Sawyer, HonDoc ’92 (ABC news anchor, commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, 1992)
  • Chris Tucker (actor, met with law students to discuss fighting AIDS in Africa, Decembeer 2002) Read more.
Mickey Mouse Club Leader Jimmy Dodd and his ever-present ears returned to his alma mater to lead the Homecoming festivities.

Mickey Mouse Club Leader Jimmy Dodd and his ever-present ears returned to his alma mater to lead the Homecoming festivities.

Bob Hope

Bob Hope


  • Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara (husband and wife comedy duo, October 1967, Wilson Auditorium; also on campus watching son Ben Stiller, filming "Fresh Horses," 1998)
  • Lewis Black (Zimmer Auditorium, 2001)

Rock, pop artists


  • Harry Belafonte (UC Fieldhouse, September 1966)



  • The Four Tops (Motown quartet, UC Fieldhouse, tickets $1-4, May 1968)
  • Peter, Paul and Mary (Armory Fieldhouse concert in support of a political campaign, October 1968)
  • Andy Williams and Roger Williams (Homecoming concert, UC Fieldhouse, Oct. 25, 1968)
  • The Bryds (free concert, Wilson Auditorium, March 18, 1969) Read alumni memories of the event.
  • Peter, Paul and Mary (Armory Fieldhouse, tickets $2.50-$4.50, May 1969)
  • John Hartford (folk singer who won a Grammy for writing "Gentle On My Mind," Wilson Auditorium, October 1969)
  • John Denver and Laura Nyro (two concerts, Wilson Auditorium, Jan. 23, 1970, tickets $1.50 for students & $2 for public)
  • Blood Sweat and Tears (homecoming concert, UC Fieldhouse, 1970)
  • The Fifth Dimension (concert, UC Fieldhouse, Feb. 21, 1970, tickets $2.50-$4.50)
  • Grateful Dead (in concert, UC Fieldhouse, April 3, 1970)


  • Country Joe McDonald (concert, Wilson Auditorium, Oct. 1, 1971)
  • Ike and Tina Turner (concert, Fieldhouse, Oct. 30, 1971)


  • Seals & Crofts (Jan. 16, 1973)
  • Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (May 13, 1973)
  • Grand Funk Railroad (Nippert Stadium, July 29, 1973)
  • Linda Ronstadt (Aug. 12, 1973)
  • Beach Boys (Nippert Stadium, Aug. 12, 1973)


  • Maynard Ferguson and the Modern Jazz Quartet (concert, Wilson Auditorim, January 1974, tickets $4)
  • Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 (concert, Fieldhouse, tickets $2.50-$4.50, Feb. 22, 1969)


  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with Don McClean (Nippert Stadium, Ohio River Rock Festival, Aug. 3, 1975)


  • Joni Mitchell (Armory Fieldhouse, Feb. 10, 1976)
  • Jackson Browne (Armory Fieldhouse concert, Oct. 1, 1976)


  • Paul Simon (in concert, Shoemaker Center, April 1991)

Jazz artists

  • Louis Armstrong (jazz trumpeter, 1956-57) Read more.
  • Wynton Marsalis (jazz trumpeter, Corbett Theater, CCM master class, October 2008) Read more and see photos.
  • Dave Brubeck (jazz pianist, Corbett Auditorium, February 1968)
  • Herbie Mann (jazz flutist, Wilson Auditorium, 1970)

Innovators making a better world

  • Orville Wright, HonDoc ’17 (inventor, commencement speaker, 1917( Note: Wilber had already died by that time.
  • Neil Armstrong, HonDoc ’82 (first man on the moon; engineering instructor, ’71-79; commencement speaker) Read complete feature.

Writers, playwright, poets

  • Robert Frost, HonDoc ’54 (resident poet at UC, 1950s)
  • Edward Albee (playwright, guest lecturer, 1990s)
  • Maya Angelou (author, poet, guest speaker, UC Leadership Lecture Series, 2006) Read more.
  • Norman Vincent Peale, HonDoc ’68 (minister, author, received honorary degree 1968)
  • Elie Wiesel (human-rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shoemaker Center, May 2000)
  • Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer in real life), HonDoc ’74 (syndicated columnist, received honorary degree, 1974)


  • Andy Warhol (considered an “underground film producer” at the time, discussed filmmaking and showed his film “The Factory,” TUC, Feb. 27, 1969)
  • Jim Borgman, HonDoc ’91 (Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist, commencement speaker, 1991)
  • Frank Duveneck, HonDoc ’17 (realist painter, 1848-1919; commencement speaker, 1917)

Classical musicians, dancers

  • George Balanchine, HonDoc ’67 (School of American Ballet founder, received honorary degree, at the dedication of UC's Corbett Center for the Performing Arts at CCM, December 1967; appeared at a UC ceremony, UC Campus Union, October 1966)
  • Van Cliburn, HonDoc ’74 (pianist, appeared at a Phi Mu Alpha fraternity event, April 1963)
  • Peter Nero (Grammy-winning pianist, conductor, 1969)
  • Philip Glass (composer)

Speakers on political, social issues

  • Paul Newman (actor, made a political speech in Wilson Auditorium, April 1968, and again in Tangeman University Center in October 2004)
  • Margaret Mead, HonDoc ’65 (anthropologist, lecture on "College Students' Disillusionment: Vietnam War and National Service," February 1968; lecture on cross-cultural communications, January 1965; received honorary degree)
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson (civil-rights leader, spoke at a Freedom Rally, Wilson Auditorium, December 1969)
  • Coretta Scott King, HonDoc '04 (widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., commencement speaker, 2004, when she received honorary degree) Read more.
  • Jane Fonda (actress and poltical activist, spoke at UC Fieldhouse to protest the Vietnam War, October 1973, with husband Tom Hayden)
  • Brendan Fraser (actor who starred in "The Mummy" triology, appeared on campus in a political panel discussion, Tangeman University Center, October 2004)
  • Bono (lead singer of the rock group U2, met with law students to discuss fighting AIDS in Africa, December 2002) Read more.

Politicians, government officials

  • Barack Obama (U.S. president, appeared on campus two nights before his election in 2012 and 2008; also in February 2008 for the primary campaign) Read more about the 2012 rally and more about the 2008 events.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (in 1936, while campaigning for the U.S. presidency, which he won) Read the whole story.
  • Colin Powell (former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then secretary of state; spoke at Shoemaker Center, May 1998)
  • C. Everett Koop, HonDoc ’91 (U.S. surgeon general, received honorary degree)
  • Dick Thornburg, HonDoc ’64 (U.S. attorney general, received honorary degree)
  • Bruce Babbit, HonDoc ’95 (secretary of the interior, commencement speaker, received honorary degree)
  • Shirley Chisholm, HonDoc ’75 (first black woman elected to Congress, , received honorary degree)
  • Jesse Jackson, HonDoc ’79 (civil rights activist, commencement speaker, received honorary degree)
  • Richard Nixon, vice president, delivered the UC Day Banquet address in April 1954

    — compiled by Deborah Rieselman

— updated 4-14