7 Celebrities Who Have Taught as College Professors

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7 Celebrities Who Have Taught as College Professors

A common, unifying thread throughout each of these peoples’ lives has been persistence and drive. 

When you register to take a college course, you may not think that you’d ever stumble across some celebs during your time spent on campus. Think again! Here are some famous people you could meet—if  you’re lucky enough—over the course of your college career.

Spike Lee

When not examining race relations in his various films or glaring at the Knicks via court side seats, film director, Spike Lee, may be found behind a podium.  In the past, he was a visiting professor at Harvard where he taught a film interpretation course. He now is a tenured professor at the NYU Tisch School of Graduate Films Programs where he is also the Artistic Director.[i]

Condoleezza Rice

If Stanford is your school, you may have spotted Condoleezza Rice around the quad or while hurrying to class. Not only does the former U.S. Secretary of State teach political science at Stanford, she is also the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. Oh—don’t forget about her as the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Graduate School of Business. Whew—but wait. She also served as Stanford’s provost from 1993 to 1999.[ii]

Oprah Winfrey

The queen of daytime television has done it all. Not only has she hosted a long-running talk show, acted, produced, launched a world-renowned book club, started her own magazine, and served as a humanitarian... and... and..., she’s also co-taught a 2nd year MBA class called “Dynamics of Leadership” with her honey, Stedman Graham, at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.[iii]

Kevin Spacey

When he isn’t playing a deceptively ruthless man in movies—Superman’s arch-nemesis, anyone?—he seems to have an affinity for theater. In addition to making movies and leading a rather private life, Kevin went across the pond for the 2008 to 2009 school year to teach theater at Oxford.[iv] 

Alec Baldwin

While you can’t enroll in an economics class with Alec, you might have been fortunate enough to have him as your theater teacher at Southampton University where he taught during the summer of 2002.[iv]

Jesse Ventura

Although he was a college dropout, Jess Ventura turned up as a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and lectured about politics. Didn’t hear of any feather boas that surfaced during the teaching stint—you could only hope.[iv]

Maya Angelou

An acclaimed autobiographer and poet, Maya Angelou has receive over 30 honorary degrees and often teaches at Wake Forest University as the recipient of the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. She also may or may not dress up as the Demon Deacon at the school’s basketball games (okay, she probably doesn't). She also taught at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama in 1961.[vii]

[i] tisch.nyu.edu/about/directory/grad-film/109468161 |  [ii] hoover.org/fellows/1007  |  [iii] imdb.com/name/nm0000228/bio  | [iv] mentalfloss.com/article/25662/12-celebrity-professors | [vii] inside.wfu.edu/tag/maya-angelou/