List of Utah State University alumni

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Notable Alumni
Harry Reid, BS '61, U.S. Senator, D-NV
Chris Cooley, two-time NFL Pro Bowl tight end
Dennis Black, Iowa State Representative
William Marion Jardine, Secretary of Agriculture (1925–1929); Ambassador to Egypt (1930–1933)
Lars Peter Hansen, B.S. 1974, Nobel Laureate economist

This list of Utah State University alumni includes notable graduates, non-graduate former students, and current students of Utah State University (USU), a public, land-grant, research university located in Logan, Utah. This list does not contain the names of presidents or faculty of the university, unless they happen also to be alumni.

Founded in 1888 under the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act as the Agricultural College of Utah, USU has grown to more than 28,000 students. Although it is headquartered in Logan, USU operates throughout the state of Utah through five regional campuses and more than 20 distance education sites. On June 13, 1899, graduates of the Agricultural College of Utah met to create the Alumni Association.[1] Today, the Alumni Association is located in the historic David B. Haight Alumni Center, which was dedicated July 11, 1991.[2] Alumni chapters exist in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Washington DC.[3] USU boasts more than 180,000 alumni, who are found in every U.S. state and more than 100 countries.[4]


Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Rick Bass 1979 B.S. Geology Writer and environmental activist [4]
Gregory C. Carr 1982 B.S. History Entrepreneur, human rights activist, and founder of the Gregory C. Carr Foundation, which supports human rights, education and the arts [4]
Steve Carr 1981 B.S. First and only American elected to Standing Commission of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the worldwide organization's highest governing body
Sonia Johnson 1958 B.A. English Feminist and writer [5]


Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Nolan Bushnell Founded Atari Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese's chain
Gregory C. Carr 1982 B.S. History Entrepreneur; founded the company that first developed voice mail; chaired Prodigy, an early global ISP [4]
Charlie Denson 1978 B.S. Marketing President of Nike Brand [4][6]
John Forzani 1971 B.S. Physical Education Founder of Forzani Group, Canada's largest sporting goods retailer with 215 company-owned stores under the names Coast Mountain Sports, Sport Chek and Sport Mart [4]
Jason Lindsey 1995 B.A. M.A. Co-founder and President of
Dick Motta 1953 B.S. Physical Education Owner of the Bluebird Inn in Logan and the Bluebird Inn Bed and Breakfast in Bear Lake, Utah; former NBA coach and color commentator; coach of Chicago Bulls, Washington Bullets and Dallas Mavericks; NBA Coach of the Year in 1971; won an NBA Championship while coaching the Washington Bullets [4]
Ward Parkinson 1969 B.S. Electrical Engineering Founder of Micron Technology; VP of Commercial Development of Ovonyx, Inc. [4]
Gary E. Stevenson 1979 B.A. Co-founder of ICON Health & Fitness


Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Caryn Beck-Dudley 1980 B.S. Political Science Dean of the College of Business at Florida State University; first female dean of the Huntsman School of Business (2002–2005) [4]
Randy L. Bott 1970
Named #1 Professor in the U.S. by
Linda J. Eyre 1970 B.S. Co-author, with her husband Richard Eyre, of 33 books on parenting, including New York Times #1 best seller Teaching Your Children Values; developed and founded Joy Schools preschool system
Richard Eyre 1968 B.S. Co-author, with his wife Linda J. Eyre, of 33 books on parenting, including New York Times #1 best seller Teaching Your Children Values; developed and founded Joy Schools preschool system

Government and politics[edit]

Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Norah al-Faiz 1982 MEd Deputy Minister for Women's Education in Saudi Arabia; first woman appointed to ministerial post in Saudi Arabia [4]
Ezra Taft Benson U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1953–61)
Dennis Black B.S. Forest Management
M.S. Natural Resources Economics
Democratic politician, representing the 21st District in the Iowa Senate since 1995
Laurence J. Burton 1956 Elected as a Republican to the Eighty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (1963–1971) [7]
Kathleen Clark 1972 B.S. Political Science First woman appointed Director of the Bureau of Land Management (2002–07) [4]
George D. Clyde 1921 B.S. Governor of Utah
Spencer Cox B.A. Lieutenant Governor of Utah [8]
Elizabeth Dowdeswell 1972 M.S. Behavioral Sciences 29th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2014–); Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (1993–98); Canada's permanent representative to the World Meteorological Organization; twice elected to its executive council [4]
John Gardner Ford 1975 B.S. Son of former U.S. President Gerald Ford; attended USU during his presidency
Steven Ford Son of former U.S. President Gerald Ford; attended USU during his presidency
Kenny Guinn 1970 Ed.D. Educational Administration Former Governor of Nevada [4]
Paula Hawkins First woman ever elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate without a family connection (1981–87)
William Marion Jardine 1925 PhD U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1925–1929); U.S. Ambassador to Egypt [9]
Howard Jarvis Anti-tax activist in California
Wayne Johnson History Republican member of both houses, consecutively, of the Wyoming State Legislature, 1993 to 2017 [10]
Lorna Kesterson Journalism Newspaper reporter and editor; first woman elected Mayor of Henderson, Nevada (1985–1993) [11]
Evan Mecham Governor of Arizona
Michael W. Mosman 1981 B.S. Federal District Judge
Harry Reid 1961 B.S. Political Science U.S. Senator, D-NV; current U.S. Senate Majority Leader; youngest Lieutenant Governor in Nevada's history [4]
Mike Simpson 1972 B.S. U.S. House of Representatives, R-ID
Chris Stewart 1984 B.S. New York Times best-selling author
Ted Stewart 1972 B.S. Federal District Judge
Jean Westwood First female Chair of the Democratic National Committee (1972)
Ardeshir Zahedi 1950 B.S. Animal Science Former Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the United States [4]

Humanities and fine arts[edit]

Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Michael Ballam 1972 B.S. Music Tenor; founder and Director of the Utah Festival Opera; author of more than 30 publications and music recordings [4]
Rick Bass 1979 PEN/O.Henry Prize-winning novelist, essayist
Reed Cowan 1998 B.S. Emmy Award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker
Douglas Kent Hall Writer and photographer
Craig Jessop 1973 B.S. Music director; former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Greg Olsen Painter
Don Quayle 1952
First President of National Public Radio
Bill Ransom 1998 M.A. Science fiction writer; Stegner Fellow at Stanford
Chip Rawlins 1974
Non-fiction writer, poet
Jan Shipps 1961 B.S. Historian of Mormonism
May Swenson 1934 B.S. Poet; Chancellor of Academy of American Poets
Brad Teare Painter and illustrator
Gene Tobey 1965
Artist; sculptor; teaches sculpture and three-dimensional design at USU Logan; namesake of Gene Tobey Memorial Art Scholarship Fund created by his wife Rebecca Tobey in 2006 [12]
Mark Walton 1998 B.F.A. Annie-nominated voice actor and story artist, known as the voice of "Rhino" in the movie Bolt
Kevin Wasden 2008 B.A. Science fiction and fantasy artist and illustrator


Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
John K. Cannon 1914 Air Commander-in-Chief, Allied Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, World War II; four-star General
Peter Cooke 1971
Political Science Retired Major General; United States Army Reserves for 39 years [13]
Russell Maughan 1917 Pilot of first-ever dawn-to-dusk transcontinental flight across the United States
Chase Nielsen 1939 Participant in Doolittle Raid, career U.S. Air Force officer


Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Ezra Taft Benson President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church)
Hugh B. Brown Member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church
Quentin L. Cook 1964 B.S. Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church
David B. Haight 1929 Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church [4]
W. Rolfe Kerr 1960
Commissioner of Education of the LDS Church
Boyd K. Packer 1949
President of the LDS Church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles
L. Tom Perry 1949 B.S. Business Administration Member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church [4]
Jan Shipps 1961 B.S. History Preeminent non-Mormon expert on Mormonism; Professor Emeritus of history and religious studies in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University [4]
Gary E. Stevenson 1979 B.S. Business Administration Member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church [14]


Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Nathan Baldwin Inventor of headphones
Mary L. Cleave 1975
M.S. Biology
Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering
NASA astronaut [4]
Richard F. Daines 1974 B.S. Commissioner of Health for New York State; head of the New York Department of Health
Julia F. Knight 1964 B.S. Mathematics Mathematician in model theory and computability theory at the University of Notre Dame, Fellow of the American Mathematical Society [15]
George Piranian 1937 B.S. Agriculture, M.S. Botany Mathematician in complex analysis; founded the Michigan Mathematical Journal with Paul Erdős, Fritz Herzog and Arthur J. Lohwater
Archimedes Plutonium 1979 MEd As Ludwig van Ludvig, notable Usenet personality
Gene P. Weckler 1958 B.S. Electrical Engineering President of Rad-icon Imaging Corporation [4]
Shang Fa Yang 1963 Ph.D. Research unlocked key to prolonging freshness in fruits and flowers; 1991 Wolf Prize in Agriculture, considered the "Nobel Prize of Agriculture"


Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Lionel Aldridge Former NFL defensive end, Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers
Kent Baer 1974 B.S. Former head football coach, Notre Dame; defensive coordinator at many universities
Rick Baird 2000 U.S. Bobsled Team, 1998–2003; forerunner during 2002 Winter Olympics
Ed Berry Former NFL and CFL All Star defensive back, Green Bay Packers
Jay Don Blake Professional golfer and PGA Tour winner
Jim Boatwright 1974 American-Israeli basketball player; won two Euroleague championships with Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv
Clyde Brock 1962 B.S. Former CFL All-Star offensive tackle
Anthony Calvillo All-time leading passer and star quarterback in the Canadian Football League
Mike Connelly 1959 Former NFL center, Dallas Cowboys
Chris Cooley Two-time NFL Pro Bowl tight end, currently with the Washington Redskins
Kevin Curtis 2003 B.S. NFL wide receiver, currently with the Philadelphia Eagles
Chuck Detwiler Former NFL and WFL player
LaVell Edwards 1952 B.S. Physical Education College Football Hall of Fame coach; head coach of 1984 National Champion BYU Cougars [4]
Kyle Fiat Professional lacrosse player, Philadelphia Wings
Gar Forman 1984 B.S. Current General Manager, Chicago Bulls
Bob Gagliano 1981 Former NFL and USFL quarterback
Hal Garner 1985 Former linebacker, Buffalo Bills
Tay Glover-Wright NFL cornerback
Cornell Green 1962 Former NFL All-Pro defensive back, Dallas Cowboys; played basketball at USU
Donnie Henderson 1986 B.S. Former defensive coordinator, New York Jets and Detroit Lions
Eric Hipple 1980 B.S. Former starting NFL quarterback, Detroit Lions
Jim Hough 1978 B.S. Former offensive lineman, Minnesota Vikings
Phil Johnson 1963
Former NBA head coach; currently longtime assistant coach, Utah Jazz; named NBA's top assistant coach three times
Rulon Jones 1987 B.S. Former NFL defensive lineman, Denver Broncos; AFC Defensive Player of the Year, 1986
Micah Knorr 1997 B.S. Former NFL punter, Dallas Cowboys, and Denver Broncos
Greg Kragen 2005 B.S. Former NFL Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, and Carolina Panthers
Travis LaBoy B.S. Former NFL linebacker
MacArthur Lane 2003 B.S. Former NFL Pro Bowl running back
Dick Motta 1953 B.S. Physical Education One of top 10 winningest NBA head coaches of all time; NBA Coach of the Year, 1971; head coach of 1978 NBA champion Washington Bullets; owner of the Bluebird Inn in Logan and the Bluebird Inn Bed and Breakfast in Bear Lake, Utah; former NBA coach and color commentator; Coach of Chicago Bulls, Washington Bullets and Dallas Mavericks; NBA Coach of the Year in 1971; won an NBA Championship while coaching the Washington Bullets [4]
Merlin Olsen 1962
B.S. Finance
College and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle; later NFL analyst and TV personality; selected to 14 Pro Bowls; 1974 NFL MVP; actor, Little House on the Prairie and Father Murphy [4]
Phil Olsen 1970 B.S. Former NFL center and defensive tackle, Boston Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Denver Broncos, and Buffalo Bills
Donald Penn 2005 B.S. NFL offensive tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marv Roberts 1970 B.S. Former ABA basketball player
Len Rohde 1960 B.S. Former NFL Pro Bowl tackle, San Francisco 49ers
Roy Shivers 1966 Former NFL running back, CFL head coach and general manager
Jay Silvester 1959
Four-time Olympian discus thrower, silver medal (1972); broke world record four times; first to throw 60 meters
Al Smith B.S. Former NFL linebacker, Houston Oilers
Robert Turbin 2011 NFL tailback, Seattle Seahawks [4]
Bobby Wagner 2011 B.S. NFL linebacker, Seattle Seahawks [4]


Name Class year(s) Degree(s) Notability Reference
Freddy Deeb Professional poker player, World Series of Poker
Mark Hofmann Author of the Salamander letter; convicted murderer


  1. ^ Simmonds, A.J. (1991). "Utah State University's David B. Haight Alumni Center". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ "David B. Haight Alumni Center". Utah State University. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Utah State Alumni Association Chapters". Utah State University. Archived from the original on 9 November 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z "Utah State University Greats". Utah State University. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Inventory of the Sonia Johnson papers". University of Utah. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  6. ^ NIKE, Inc. - The official corporate website for Nike and its affiliate brands
  7. ^ "Burton, Laurence Junior, (1926 - 2002)". United States of America, Congress. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  8. ^ Posted 2:45 pm, October 8, 2013, by David Wells (2013-10-08). "Utah's new Lt. Governor announced". Retrieved 2017-05-05.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "William Marion Jardine". NNDB. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  10. ^ "Wayne Johnson, Cheyenne, Wyoming". Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  11. ^ McMurdo, Doug (2012-01-17). "Former Henderson mayor Lorna Kesterson dies at 86". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
  12. ^ Tobey, Rebecca. Partners in Art: Gene and Rebecca Tobey, pp. 350 - 355. Fresco Fine Art Publications, 2007. ISBN 978-1-934491-02-7
  13. ^ McEntee, Peg (29 Feb 2012). "Democrat Peter Cooke launches fiery run for Utah governor". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Elder Gary E. Stevenson". Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  15. ^ Julia Knight – Named professorships and directorships at Notre Dame Archived 2013-10-17 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2013-10-16.