Notable Alumni of Whittier College


Business and Industry

Richard H. Deihl ’49, DBA ’84 - Lieutenant;  Business Executive – former CEO of H.F. Ahmanson & Co.

Rayburn S. Dezember ’53, LHD ’94 | Business Executive and Philanthropist; co-founder and Chairman of the Board for American National Bank and it’s holding company Central Pacific Corporation, Whittier College Trustee Emeritus

Willard "Bill" V. Harris Jr. '55, LHD ’02 | Business Executive and Philanthropist; Co-founder of Rampart General, Future Communities, Ship's Concrete, and the Brethren Community Foundation

F. Lynn Blystone '57 | Chairman, President and CEO of Tri-Valley Corporation (AMEX ticker: TIV)

Tien Zee '61 | Founder & Chairman, Intex Industries

Elden Smith '62 | President and CEO, Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc.

Peter L. Harris '65 | past CEO for the San Francisco 49ers, FAO Schwarz

Fred Anderson '66 | Co-founder and managing director, Elevation Partners; former Executive Vice President and CFO for Apple, Inc.

Richard Gilchrist '68 | President, Investment Properties Group, the Irvine Company

Joyce Brunelle '69 | Chairman, Suntricity, Inc.

Richard Foos '71 | Co-founder of Rhino Records, founder of Shout! Factory

Fred Wang '72 | Director & Vice-Chairman of the Board, CDC Corporation

Michael Teel '74 | President & CEO of Raley's/ Bel Air/ Nob Hill Foods (Supermarket chain)

Paul Bateman '79 | President, Klein & Saks Group

Edwin Keh '79, CEO | Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel; former Senior Vice President, Global Procurement, Walmart

Matt Espe MBA '84 | President, Armstrong World Industries

Mimi Kam '85 | General Manager, Head of Human Resources & Corporate Communications Division, The Bank of East Asia, Ltd. (BEA)

Edward O. Petersen '93 | Co-founder and executive vice president for sales and marketing, Intelius

Shakir Husain '98 | Founder and CEO for Creative Chaos (Pvt), Ltd. (Pakistan)

Education and Advocacy

Robert M. Zemsky '62 | Founding Director, Institute for Research on Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania, Chair of The Learning Alliance for Higher Education, Former Woodrow Wilson Fellow

Christopher Cross '62 | Chairman of Cross & Joftus, LLC

Raymond Erickson '63 | Founding Director, Aaron Copland School of Music, former Dean of Arts and Humanities, City University of New York Graduate School

Ray Mellado '71 | Founder & CEO, Great Minds in STEM

Kristine Dillon '73 | President, Consortium on Financing Higher Education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Paul Ferguson '74 | President, University of Maine in Orono 

Sandy Thorstenson '77 | Superintendent of Schools, Whittier Union High School District

Anthony S. Tricoli '78 | President, Georgia Perimeter College

M. Rene Islas '00 | Vice President for B&D Consulting’s National Educational Practice, former Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of Education

Entertainment, Arts, and LiteratureCheryl Boone Isaacs

Jessamyn West '23* | award-winning novelist, author of The Friendly Persuasion (1945)

Zilpha (Keatley) Snyder '48 | Newbery award-winning children’s author

Arthur Allan Seidelman '58 | Emmy-winning director and producer for television, film, and Broadway; director, "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks" (release date: September 2014)

Guy Webster '62 | noted celebrity photographer; co-founder, Guy Webster-Mike Taggart Motorcycle Museum

Robert "Bob" Porter '63 | discographer, writer, record producer, Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, Grammy-winner, syndicated radio host "Portraits in Blue"

Timothy Clott '70 | children’s television producer and studio executive

Fred Wang '71 | chairman, Salon Films Group; honorary vice president, China Film Foundation; director of the board, Hong Kong International Film Festival Society

Cheryl Boone Isaacs '71 | president, American Association of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; owner, CBI Enterprises; 2014 NAACP Hall of Fame Award-winner

James Nash '72 | Emmy-winning broadcast news director, producer, writer (CBS), Edward R. Murrow Award and Golden Mike Award-winner

Alma Martinez '84 | stage, film, and television actress

John Murdy '89 | creative director, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights (CA)

Mei-lan Stark '89 | senior vice president, Intellectual Property, Fox Entertainment Group

Charles Bock '91 | novelist, New York Times' Notable Book of the Year (2008)

Josh Freedom Du Lac '93 | enterprise reporter, The Washington Post

Ryan Johnson '96 | film producer, "Meet Cute," "12 Mighty Orphans," and "Asking for It" 

Geoff Stults '97 | television actor, Fox's "Enlisted," ABC's "Happy Town," CW’s “October Road"

Henry K. Priest '98 | award-winning independent film producer, film festival director, and amateur wrestling technical advisor

Adam Pava '99 | television comedy writer, producer, co-creator of Cartoon Network’s “Out of Jimmy’s Head"

James Adomian '01 | stand-up comedian, actor, impressionist, CBS's "Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson," finalist on NBC's "Last Comic Standing"

Politics and Law

Richard NixonGeorge E. Outland '28 | United States Congressman

Richard M. Nixon '34, J.D., | 37th President of the United States, credited with opening up foreign relations/international trade with China and establishing the Environmental Protection Agency, among others

J. Stanley Sanders '63, J.D. | Partner and attorney for The Sanders Firm LLP, Rhodes Scholar, former Los Angeles mayoral candidate

Abdullah Alireza '68 | Minister of Commerce and Industry, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Robert D. Durham '69, J.D. | Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, partner in Bennett & Durham

Albert Jacquez '77 | Principal, Strategic Solutions Washington; former chief executive for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; former chief of staff for California Congressman Esteban Torres

Hon. Gilbert Ochoa '81, J.D. | Superior Court Judge, State of California, County of San Bernardino

Adrienne Cisneros '81 | former Director, Office of Civil Rights and Diversity, U.S. Department of Energy, member of the White House Advance Team (President G.W. Bush)

Tony Strickland '93 | former California State Senator, 19th District (2008 -2012) and Assemblyman, 37th District (1998 - 2004)

Misty Sanford '00, J.D. | Founder & Vice President of Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT); Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson; Founder & Treasurer,For People of Color, Inc.

Science, Medicine, and Biotechnology James Galloway

Howard House '30, M.D.* | "Father of Modern Otology," Founder of House Ear Institute

Jeanine Hull Heron '60, Ph.D. | Principal Investigator, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD); Director & CEO, Talking Fingers, Inc.; Founder, first Head Start Program

James Galloway '66, Ph.D. | Tyler Prize-winner for Environmental Achievement, American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, American Geophysical Union Fellow, Chair for the International Nitrogen Initiative

Nathaniel G. Pitts '69 | Director (Ret.), Office of Integrative Activities, National Science Foundation (NSF)

Steve Johnson '75 | Director, Forensic Crime Laboratory, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office; former Commanding Officer, Los Angeles Police Department Scientific Investigation Division

Michael Moran '84, M.D., FACC, FSCAI | President & CEO, Cardiovascular Institute, Laguna, LLC; former Medical Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Risk Factor Modification Program, Harvard School of Medicine; Designer/Director, Cardiovascular Catheterization & Intervention Lab,  South Coast Medical Center

Dean Salisbury '85, M.D. | Director, Clinical Neurophysiology Research Lab, University of Pittsburgh; former Director, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Elizabeth Y. Kay-Im '89 | Section Manager, Instrument Software & Science Data Systems, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Adam Rosenberg '92, J.D. | former CEO, Link Medicine; principal in Faber Daeufer & Rosenberg PC

Jonnie Capiro '01, M.S. | Zookeeper (large African mammals), San Diego Wild Animal Park

Kalina Gospodinova '04 | Research Technician, Phoenix Mars Landing Mission

Social Advocacy and ServiceLinda Beihl

Martin Ortiz '48* | Pioneering Latino advocate, founder of the Center of Mexican American Affairs

Linda Biehl '65 | Founder & President, Amy Biehl Foundation Trust, South Africa; recipient of the Felton Humanitarian Award (U.S.) and Order of O.R. Tambo (South Africa)

Hiroko Tatebe '73 | Founder & CEO, Global Organization for Leadership and Diversity (GOLD)

Elizabeth Reich '75 | President & CEO, Make-A-Wish Foundation Arizona

Melanie Brunson '76 | Executive Director, American Council for the Blind

Jennifer Waltzer '80 | Chief Administrative Officer, Autism Speaks

Andrea Shorter '88 | Co-chair, Bayard LGBT Rustin Coalition; President, San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women; former Deputy Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Erik Stegman '04, J.D| Manager, Half in Ten Campaign, Center for American Progress; former Counsel, Committee on Indian Affairs, U.S. Senate

Alex Sheldon '08 | LGBT Movement Research Analyst, Movement Advancement Project; Program Analyst, Project Education South Sudan; Designer, LGBT "Safe Zone" Training Course, Peace Corps; co-founder Open Minds, Open Books Project, Dominica


Jim SkipperAnthony "Tony" Malinosky '32* | former Major League Baseball player, Brooklyn Dodgers

Tom Tellez '55 | Olympic Track & Field Coach (for Gold Medalists Carl Lewis, Joe DeLoach, Leroy Burrell, among others)

Jim Colborn '68 | Coordinator of Pacific Rim Operations for Texas Rangers (American League Baseball); former Major League Baseball pitcher, pitching coach

Russ Purnell '70 | Special Teams Coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (National Football League), coached two Superbowl-winning teams--Indianapolis and Baltimore 

Jim Skipper '73 | former Assistant Head Coach, Carolina Panthers (National Football League)

Doug Locker '79 | President & General Manager, Vancouver Stealth (National Lacrosse League)