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Purchase College Alumni

Purchase College’s greatest accomplishments are evident in its more than 17,500 extraordinary alumni who are making significant contributions in a wide range of fields, including the arts and entertainment, scientific research, environmental conservation, medicine, information technology, education, business, journalism, politics, and law. Our alumni include Pulitzer Prize recipients; Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Obie, and Drama Desk Award winners; research scientists; CEOs of international corporations; and prominent journalists, academics, and teachers; and MacArthur “genius award” winners.

Liberal Arts and Sciences
Many of our liberal arts and sciences alumni further their interests by going directly to graduate and professional schools, while others follow after a year or two of work experience. Alumni are frequently accepted by prestigious graduate schools, including Yale, Berkeley, Columbia, Chicago, Brown, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, McGill, Michigan, M.I.T., and the University of London-Courtould Institute.

In the natural sciences, a large percentage of alumni have earned doctorates. Among these are Carl Safina, author of Song for the Living Ocean and a MacArthur Fellow; cancer researcher Jill Bargonetti; and John Ambroseo, president and CEO of Coherent, Inc. Purchase alumni experience an acceptance rate above the national norms at such renowned medical schools as Albert Einstein, Columbia Physicians and Surgeons, Tufts, Mount Sinai, New York Medical College, and Cornell.

Purchase is equally represented in the field of law, with its alumni attending Harvard Law School, American University, University of Wisconsin, Brooklyn Law School, SUNY Buffalo, and Columbia University, among others.

Adam Nagourney, national political correspondent for the New York Times; Michael Powell, former New York bureau chief for the Washington Post, currently reporting for the New York Times; and Carnegie Scholar Lawrence Malone are among our outstanding liberal arts graduates. Our alumni can also be found in the Peace Corps, at PepsiCo and IBM, and in leading advertising agencies, major museums, independent and public schools, and governmental agencies. They are also working as computer specialists and designers, composers, screenwriters, and novelists. Purchase alumni tend to be people with a strong commitment to goals, ideas, and projects, whatever they may be. Purchase encourages critical analysis and clear, original thought. Consequently, many alumni take research or communications positions. Alumni can be found at the Smithsonian Institution, Rockefeller University, and Lederle Labs, as well as at MCI, PBS, Gannett, and CBS News.

In the film program, more than 85 percent of the alumni have found work in the film and television industries. Festivals of alumni and student films, held at various venues throughout the tri-state region, provide a showcase for Purchase talent. Some “famous names” from Purchase include Oscar-winner Chris Wedge, Hal Hartley, Alexander Koch, Nick Gomez, Bob Gosse, Charles Lane, Allyson C. Johnson, Danny Leiner, Ron Fortunato, and Rob Schmidt.

Performing Arts
Actors Parker Posey, Edie Falco, Sherry Stringfield, Steven Weber, Jodi Long, and Stanley Tucci are just a few of the many renowned alumni of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Many are winners of coveted industry awards, including the Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, Obie, and Drama Desk Awards. A number of alumni are founders or directors of theatre companies. All can trace the foundation of their success to the unique Purchase combination: a faculty of working professionals, close and individual mentoring relationships, a cooperative atmosphere, proximity to New York City, and the opportunity for students to be treated as professionals from the start. In the conservatory’s theatre design/technology program, most alumni are working in their chosen profession, bespeaking incredible success at attaining their goals. They have received Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, and Theatre Crafts Magazine’s Tyro Talent Awards. Their design credits include Broadway, Off Broadway, dance, film, television, and industrials—from New York to Hong Kong and Las Vegas to Zurich.

Conservatory of Dance alumni perform in dozens of the most noted companies, including the American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, American Repertory Ballet, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Limón Dance Company, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Twyla Tharp and Dancers, Trisha Brown Company, Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Parsons Dance, Mark Morris Dance Group, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, to name a few. Some alumni, like Doug Varone, have their own companies. Others are independent choreographers, choreographers working within companies, dance teachers, and performers on Broadway and in major touring companies.

Conservatory of Music alumni are professional musicians, performing with such groups as the New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Houston Symphony, St. Louis Opera, Hong Kong Symphony, and l’Orchestre Nationale de Paris, as well as in many professional chamber groups and Broadway musicals. Dwayne Croft of the Metropolitan Opera is just one of many music alumni who are representing Purchase College worldwide. Jazz studies alumni pursue active professional careers in recording studios, in nightclubs, and on tours. Studio composition and production alumni are featured performers, writers, arrangers, and producers on both major and independent recording labels and in a wide range of industries. Their credits include platinum albums, scores for film and television, experimental Internet-based orchestrations, global teleconferencing research, and digitized audio Ethernet transmission protocols. Others have pursued advanced studies and are now teaching at such prestigious schools as the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, the Mannes School, and Yale University.

Visual Arts
Alumni of the School of Art+Design pursue careers in galleries and museums, national publications, electronic visualizations, master print edition studios, art direction, typography, photography, graphic and corporate design, education, and graduate study and research, and as independent, exhibiting studio artists. Their work is exhibited at prestigious venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, Albright Knox Gallery, and Whitney Museum of American Art. They have also received major awards, grants, and fellowships, including the Fulbright, Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, Sharpe Foundation, Edward Albee Foundation, Pollock-Krasner, Prix de Rome, and Siskind Fellowships. Sculptor Jon Kessler, former Guggenheim Fellow and current chair of the visual arts graduate program at Columbia University, enjoys a successful international career. Fred Wilson, recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, is included among great American artists in Essential History of American Art by Suzanne Bailey. In the interdisciplinary spirit of the Purchase College, the School of Art+Design also includes among its alumni the noted playwright and screenwriter Donald Margulies, recipient of two Obies, a Dramatist Guild Hull-Warner Award and Lucille Lortel Award, and the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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Related Information:

Office of Alumni Affairs:
Alumni Profiles

About Purchase Culture

Neuberger Museum of Art

Performing Arts Center

About Purchase Degrees Granted








Music: Performance

Music: Artist Diploma