Choosing Michigan State University for your collegiate adventure is a big decision, but what makes it even cooler is knowing you’ll be walking in the same footsteps of notable MSU alumni who also enjoyed their time in East Lansing. Check out this list of names who are well known for some awesome accomplishments.
This legend kicked off his basketball career as a point guard at MSU while studying communication to be a sports broadcaster. However, Magic Johnson’s talent on the court opened the door for another career path when he joined the L.A. Lakers for an impressive 13-season run to become one of the most outstanding athletes in NBA history. And that “Magic” nickname? This was coined in his sophomore year in high school when in one game, he scored 36 points with 18 rebounds and 16 assists.
Julie Aigner Clark
For more than two decades, families with young children have enjoyed The Baby Einstein Co. — a line of developmental toys, videos, and more. Did you know the founder of this company attended Michigan State University? Julie Aigner Clark graduated with a B.A. in Secondary English Education in 1988 and went on to become a pillar in the child entertainment industry. In 2001, the company was sold to Walt Disney Co.
James Caan attended MSU in the 50s to study economics and play football with the hopes of eventually becoming a professional football player, but when he didn’t make the team, he pursued acting instead. It’s a good thing he did because we now have cinematic gold with his roles in “Misery,” “Elf,” and much more. His most famous role where he played Santino “Sonny” Corleone in “The Godfather” landed Caan a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.
Lloyd Groff Copeman
Where would we be without the electric stove, flexible rubber ice cube tray, and the automatic electric toaster? Thanks to Lloyd Groff Copeman, who studied engineering at MSU, we now have access to these wonderful inventions! The ice cube tray has a funny tale behind it: While walking through the snowy woods to collect sap for maple syrup, frozen slush gathered on Copeman’s rubber boots, and when he sat down to clean it, the slush popped off easy and the idea for a rubber ice cube tray was born. And here’s a side fun fact: Copeman is the grandfather of Linda Ronstadt — famous recording artist and winner of 10 Grammy Awards.
After tackling a few semesters at MSU to study English, Sam Raimi opted to follow his childhood passion for being behind the camera. His successful career outside the classroom led him to deliver the screen favorites, “Evil Dead” trilogy and “Spider-Man” trilogy, as well as the TV hits, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and“Xena: Warrior Princess.”
Draymond Green is well known for his spectacular NBA record with the Golden State Warriors, but prior to going the professional sports route, he was a star on the collegiate court. In fact, MSU retired his number — No. 23 — during a halftime ceremony in December 2019 to honor the player who has maintained a close relationship with the university’s basketball program.