Nearly every college out there has its token celebrity. Some colleges, however, put out an uncanny number of them. We researched lists of notable alumni at the nation’s colleges and counted how many really famous stars each has put out. Following is our top five, star-producing schools:

1. New York University – Boasting more Academy Award winners among its alumni than any other university, NYU has long been an incubator for future film and TV stars. Check out this impressive list of alumni (and this doesn’t count lesser known but still successful stars): Alec Baldwin, Kristen Bell, Selma Blair, James L. Brooks, Billy Crystal, John Cusack, Bridget Fonda, Gina Gershon, Whoopi Goldberg, Anne Hathaway, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bryce Dallas Howard, Felicity Huffman, auteurs Ang Lee and Spike Lee, Debra Messing, Jerry O’Connell, Ashley Olsen, Mary Kate Olsen, Haley Joel Osment, Meg Ryan, Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Martin Scorsese, and M. Night Shyamalan. Also among alumni are recording super-mogul Clive Davis and 67-and-still-sexy Neil Diamond. Whew!
Rumor has it that just enrolling at NYU increases your chances of becoming a star by a couple hundred percent.
2. Harvard University– Coming in a distant second place, Harvard U apparently isn’t just about that stuffy law and business stuff. Their alumni include: Tatyana Ali, The Fountain director Darren Aronofsky, The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen, Tommy Lee Jones, Jack Lemmon, John Lithgow, New World director Terrence Malick, Conan O’Brien, Natalie Portman, Elisabeth Shue, Mira Sorvino, and Glory director Edward Zwick.
3. Columbia University – Not counting two presidents, six Supreme Court Justices, four Founding Fathers, and many senators, Columbia has produced more than its fair share of successful stars. Ben Stein, Amanda Peet, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Matthew Fox, Julia Stiles, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Ed Harris, Jake Gyllenhaal, and hip hop songstress Lauryn Hill have passed through its prestigious halls.
4. University of Miami – Perhaps the most unexpected of the top five, Miami has put out a decent number of movie, TV, and recording stars. Alumni include: veteran Charles Grodin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ray Liotta, Sylvester Stallone, Gloria Estefan, rock musician Ben Folds, and singer Enrique Iglesias.
5. University of Southern California – Coming in at a disappointing fifth spot, despite a prestigious film and TV program, the Trojans are still better than most. They have produced funny man Will Ferrell, prolific film composer James Horner, Star Wars creator George Lucas, comedian John Ritter, the Man himself John Wayne, and Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker.
Honorable mentions go to:
Cal State Long Beach: Steve Martin and director, mega-mogul, and definer of a generation, Steven Spielberg
Stanford University: Jennifer Connelly, Ted Danson, Sigourney Weaver, and Reese Witherspoon
Princeton University: Dean Cain, Coen brother Ethan Coen, David Duchovny, Brook Shields, and Jimmy Stewart
University of Washington: James Caviezel, saxman Kenny G, father of all cinematic martial arts coolness, Bruce Lee, and Julia Sweeney
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