There are many celebrities, actors, actresses, and other famous people who were top of their class and named valedictorians when they were in high school. Tassel Depot is the leading manufacturer of graduation tassels and trimmings, and we have been for the past 150 years. Our team of professionals has seen some amazing people do amazing things during and after graduation. This is why we want to share some famous valedictorians with our readers!
Valedictorian comes from the Latin phrase “vale diver,” meaning “to say farewell.” This person is typically the student who has the highest academic achievements in their class. In addition, they will then deliver the valedictory speech at the graduation ceremony.
Though a grade point average is important when determining who the valedictorian will be, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they had the highest GPA. There are extracurricular activities that can also play a factor, including:
Celebrities Who Were Valedictorian
Below is a list of celebrities who were named valedictorian at their school:
Conan O’Brien - Brookline High School, Massachusetts, Class of 1981
Cindy Crawford - DeKalb High School, Illinois, Class of 1984
Jodie Foster - Lycee Francaise de Los Angeles, Class of 1980
Theodor Suess Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss - Springfield Central High School, Massachusetts, Class of 1921
Natalie Portman - Syosset High School, New York, Class of 1999
Chevy Chase - Stockbridge School, Massachusetts, Class of 1960
Bette Midler - Radford High School, Hawaii, Class of 1963
Alicia Keys - Professional Performing Arts School, New York, Class of 1996
Jeff Bezos - Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Florida Class of 1982
America Ferrera - El Camino Real High School, California, Class of 2002
Troian Bellisario - Campbell Hall High School, California, Class of 2005
“Weird Al” Yankovic - Lynwood High School, California, Class of 1976
Some of these names may come as a shock to you, while others might make perfect sense. We also know that some of these celebrities who were valedictorian, and many others who are famous, ended up attending Ivy League schools!
Celebrities Who Went to Ivy League Schools
There are at least 40 celebrities who went to Ivy League schools. Whether at Columbia, Yale, or other ivy leagues institutions, there are many A-Listers who have walked the halls of these prestigious institutions:
John Legend: The University of Pennsylvania - Graduated in 1999 with a degree in English
Brooke Shields: Princeton University - Graduated in 1987 with a degree in Romance languages and was a member of the Princeton Triangle Club
John Krasinski: Brown University - Graduated in 2001 with a degree in English
Emma Watson: Brown University - Graduated in 2014 with a degree in English Literature
Colin Jost: Harvard University - Graduated in 2004 with a degree in History and Literature and was President of the Harvard Lampoon.
Anderson Cooper: Yale University - Graduated in 1981 with a degree in Political Science
Tracee Ellis Ross: Brown University - Graduated in 1994 with a degree in Theater
Shonda Rhimes: Dartmouth College - Graduated in 1991 with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing
Bill Nye: Cornell University - Graduated in 1977 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering
Rashida Jones: Harvard University - Graduated in 1997 with a degree in Religion and Philosophy