10 Famous And Successful Online School Graduates

What motivates someone to earn a degree through an online university? Generally speaking, life gets in the way of college. For some people, work and travel schedules will not permit them to attend a college or university. In order to continue their education or pursue a degree, an online school is the best option.

In the age of the Internet, online education is common, convenient, and growing faster than general higher education. Just about anyone can be successful in their endeavors with an online degree. Many people are probably wondering, has anyone successful or famous ever graduated from an online college? The answer may surprise them.

More people have chosen online education than imagined, and many of them have very successful careers. Here are ten notable alumni of online schools, some more famous than others, listed alphabetically by surname.

  1. Kerrii B. Anderson, CEO of the Wendy’s International restaurant chain, is a graduate of a business school that is now largely Internet-based. She serves on the school’s Board of Visitors, and on the Board of Trustees for another online college.
  2. Sarah Chenowith, a DNA analyst, earned her degree in forensic DNA and serology through a distance learning program. She works as a DNA technical leader for a Maryland police department.
  3. Kirkland H. Donald, an Admiral in the United States Navy, earned his master’s degree in business administration from an online university. A recipient of several medals and honors, Donald serves as the director of the Navy Nuclear Propulsion unit.
  4. Madeline Frank, a concert artist, author, and teacher, received her PhD in administrative management through an online university. Frank is a critically acclaimed international violist.
  5. Sharon T. Freeman, author of “Conversations With African Women Leaders,” earned her PhD online. Her degree in applied management and decision sciences paved the way for a career in foreign aid and overseas institutional reform.
  6. Lisa Leslie, a WNBA player and professional model, enrolled in an online university to pursue a post-graduate degree in business administration. In addition to professional basketball, Leslie has modeled with the Wilhelmina Agency.
  7. Ross Mitchell, a Massachusetts attorney, graduated from America’s first online-only law school. Although his school’s lack of American Bar Association approval disqualified him from taking the bar exam, he fought for his right to do so. He won his case in the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. In ten years, the online law school has grown from around 30 students to 1,500.
  8. Shaquille O’Neal, the famous NBA basketball player, completed a master’s degree in business administration from an online university. He turned to online education to complete his degree after leaving college his junior year to turn pro. He plans to continue his education for a future doctorate in psychology.
  9. Mary Peters, an American politician, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in management from an online university. Peters served as the United States Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush.
  10. Didiayer Snyder, an Australian model and television personality, graduated from an Australian Christian college and furthered her studies in carpentry and interior decorating through an American online college. She is best known for her role in the ABC television series, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”


"15 Notable Online College Graduates." (Degree Central)

"10 Famous And Successful Alumni Of Online Colleges." (Online University Data)