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Notable Alumnae

Notable Alumnae


Famous chefs, Pulitzer Prize winners, political columnists, environmental researchers, film directors, venture capitalists, physicists, poets, playwrights, CEOs—Smith women apply their learning throughout their lives in thousands of professions and communities.

You may have heard of our famous graduates, such as Julia Child, Gloria Steinem and Sylvia Plath. But there are many more stories of leadership and success that demonstrate where the Smith experience can take you.

She Went to Smith

If you’re still not sure where a Smith education can take you, consider our outstanding record of alumnae achievement. These women are among our accomplished alumnae.

  • Otelia Cromwell 1900, educator, author; first African American woman to receive a doctorate from Yale
  • Margaret Mitchell ’22, author of Gone With the Wind
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh ’28, aviator and author of Gift from the Sea
  • Julia Child ’34, star of TV’s “The French Chef”
  • Madeleine L’Engle ’41, award-winning author of A Wrinkle in Time
  • Betty Friedan ’42, author of The Feminine Mystique
  • Nancy Reagan ’43, former First Lady of the United States
  • Marylin Bender Altschul ’44, author and former editor of Business World and the New York Times’ business and finance section
  • Barbara Bush ’47, former First Lady of the United States
  • Xie Xide ’49, physicist and former president of Fudan University in China
  • Sylvia Plath ’55, poet; author of The Bell Jar and Ariel
  • Gloria Steinem ’56, founder of Ms. magazine and noted feminist writer
  • Jane Yolen ’60, award-winning children’s book author
  • Marilyn Carlson Nelson ’61, former chairman and CEO of the Carlson Companies and former chair of the National Women’s Business Council
  • Sally Quinn ’63, author and commentator
  • Victoria Chan Palay ’65, neurobiologist and former Olympic athlete
  • Molly Ivins ’66, political columnist and commentator
  • Jane Harman ’66, director, president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Center and former nine-term U.S. representative from California
  • Juliet Taylor ’67, casting director for more than 100 movies, including Taxi Driver and Woody Allen’s films
  • Rochelle Braff Lazarus ’68, chairman emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
  • Sandy Skoglund ’68, installation artist, photographer and sculptor
  • Laura Tyson ’69, professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley; former head of the National Economic Council
  • Pearl Yau Toy ’69, physician and professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California in San Francisco
  • Shelley Hack ’70, actress (Annie Hall, Charlie’s Angels)
  • Julie Nixon Eisenhower ’70, author of Special People and Pat Nixon: The Untold Story
  • Marilynn Davis ’73, assistant secretary for administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Clinton administration
  • Yolanda King ’76, actress, producer, lecturer
  • Christine McCarthy ’77, chief financial officer of the Walt Disney Company
  • Pamela Craig ’79, partner in Accenture, the world’s largest management information consulting firm
  • Lauren Lazin ’82, award-winning independent filmmaker (Tupac: Resurrection) and producer
  • Margaret Edson ’83, teacher and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Wit
  • Tammy Baldwin ’84, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
  • Kathleen Marshall ’85, Tony Award-winning Broadway choreographer and director
  • Sherry Rehman ’85, founding chair of the Jinnah Institute and vice president of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians 
  • Maria Maggenti ’86, film and television screenwriter and director (The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love)
  • Jane Nielsen ’86, CFO of Ralph Lauren Corporation
  • Thelma Golden ’87, director and chief curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem
  • Farah Pandith ’90, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government
  • Simran Sethi ’92, environmental journalist and educator
  • Devin Alexander ’93, chef, cookbook author and chef of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”
  • Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy ’02, investigative television reporter and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker