Notable alumni

Notable alumni from Oberlin College, Oberlin Theological Seminary, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

(List is based on the ones at Wikipedia (1, 2). It is, therefore, under the GDFL and not Oberwiki's standard license.)

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  • John Mercer Langston (1849: bachelor's; 1853?: master's, theology), first African-American lawyer in Ohio, early civil rights activist (helped the Ohio Republican party develop a strong antislavery position, conspired with John Brown on his raid of Harper's Ferry), prominent member in local politics, and namesake of Langston Hall
  • Aaron Lazare (1957): psychologist, professor, and former Chancellor & Dean of University of Massachusetts Medical School; author of "On Apology" and numerous other books and articles
  • Martha Lipson Lepow (1948): instrumental in developing vaccines for meningitis A and C
  • Romulus Linney: playwright
  • Tom Lopez (1989): computer/new media composer, Oberlin professor

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  • Karen Orzolek (did not graduate: transferred to NYU's Tisch School): lead vocalist for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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  • Greg Saunier: drummer of Deerhoof and Nervous Cop
  • Jack Schaefer (1929): writer, author of Shane.
  • Peter Scheiber (1956): inventor of surround sound
  • William F. Schultz (1971): Executive Director of Amnesty International USA
  • Vijay Seshadri: winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry
  • Sonia Shah (1993): investigative journalist
  • Gary Shteyngart (1995): novelist (Absurdistan, The Russian Debutante's Handbook)
  • Lorenzo Snow: Mormon prophet, fifth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Donald J. Sobol: author of the Encyclopedia Brown series (fun fact: in one case, a client of Brown's says he wants to major in juggling when he goes to college. "At what college can you major in juggling?" Encyclopedia asks. Guess where?)
  • Robert Spano (studied conducting): music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, associate professor of conducting
  • Roger Wolcott Sperry (1935: bachelor's, English; 1937: master's, psychology): neurobiologist and Nobel laureate (Medicine, 1981)
  • Larry Squire (1963): Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at UCal San Diego, past President of the Society for Neuroscience, a world expert in the field of memory, author
  • Doris Stevens (1911): suffragist
  • William Grant Still: composer, conductor, many "firsts" (first African-American to have a symphony of his performed by a major orchestra, first African-American to conduct a major American orchestra, first African-American to have an opera performed by a major opera company, first African-American to have an opera performed on national television)
  • Lucy Stone (1847): feminist and abolitionist
  • Anna Louise Strong (1905): activist, author, communist journalist (known for her coverage of and support for communist movements in the USSR and PRC)

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  • James Zemaits (1990): head of Sotheby's 20th-century-design department
  • David Zinman (did not graduate; studied violin): music director of the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival and School
  • Stephen Zunes (1979): political activist and professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco
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