Lindenwood University Notable Alumni

Last Updated on July 29, 2023

Have you ever wanted to learn from the best? Our notable alumni have some of the most well known names in the business world. They are leaders and innovators that have made Lindenwood University proud.

Lindenwood University has produced a number of notable alumni since its founding in 1827. Alumni are known for their work in politics, the military, athletics, sports broadcasting and business

Lindenwood University is a private liberal arts university in Saint Charles, Missouri. Founded in 1827 by George Champlin Sibley and Mary Easton Sibley as The Lindenwood School for Girls, it is the second-oldest higher-education institution west of the Mississippi River.

Lindenwood offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees through nine colleges and schools. Its enrollment was 7,374 students in 2020. The 500-acre (202.3 ha) main academic and residential campus is located 24 miles (39 km) northwest of St. Louis, Missouri, in St. Charles. The university operates a satellite campus in Belleville, Illinois, known as Lindenwood University–Belleville.[needs update]

The university offers a number of extracurricular activities to its students, including athletics, honor societies, clubs, and student organizations, as well as fraternities and sororities. Alumni and former students have gone on to prominent careers in government, business, science, medicine, education, sports, and entertainment. Lindenwood’s athletic teams primarily compete at the NCAA Division II level with several sports competing at the NCAA Division I level.

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lindenwood university famous alumni

Notable alumni

Alumni of the Lindenwood University have become notable in a variety of different fields including politics and government, business, science, literature, arts and entertainment, and athletics. Alumni in the fields of broadcasting and journalism include: Greg Amsinger, anchor for the MLB Network,[124] Randy Karraker and Bob Ramsey, American sportscasters in St. Louis, Missouri and current hosts of “The Fast Lane”, a sports radio show in St. Louis, on 101 ESPN,[125] Jan Rogers Kniffen, businessman, guest business affairs commentator for CNBC,[126] Dan McLaughlin, professional sports broadcaster who currently works on both St. Louis Cardinals and previously with the St. Louis Blues for telecasts on the cable television channel Fox Sports Midwest,[127] Miriam Goldberg, publisher and editor of the Intermountain Jewish News,[128] Melanie Morgan, American author, columnist, political commentator, and radio personality,[129] Sally Perdue, radio talk show host and is a former 1958 Miss Arkansas and Miss America Pageant contestant.[130]

Various LU alumni have excelled in art, fashion, movies and music, they include: Alice Baber, American abstract expressionist painter.[131] Tara Bollinger, model and beauty queen from Missouri who has competed in the Miss America Pageant.[132] Ingrid Dahlberg, former theater manager and president of the Swedish Royal Dramatic Theatre, writer, and politician. Lee Daniels, American actor, film producer and director. Nell Donnelly Reed, an American fashion designer famous for her house dresses who, at the time of her attending Lindenwood in the early 1900s, was the only married student there. Thom Donovan, American musician/songwriter, who has toured worldwide with Robert Plant and the Goo Goo Dolls and appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC. Shandi Finnessey, Miss USA 2004, Dancing with the Stars. Amber Seyer, Miss Missouri USA 2007 and Miss Missouri Teen USA 2003. Vocal Spectrum, consisting of Tim Waurick, Eric Dalbey, Jonny Moroni, and Chris Hallam. They are the 2004 Barbershop Harmony Society International Collegiate Quartet Champions, the 2006 Barbershop Harmony Society International Quartet Champions, and 2004, 2009, 2012 and 2016 Barbershop Harmony Society International Chorus Champions with the Ambassadors of Harmony., for whom Moroni is co-director.

A number of Lindenwood Lions have gone on to professional sports, they include: Sanel Borić, Bosnian American football (soccer) goalkeeper who currently plays for FK Velež Mostar. DeDe Dorsey, professional American football player with the Detroit Lions of the NFL. As a member of the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, he was the MVP of the 2009 UFL Championship Game. Chase Gormley, American professional mixed martial arts fighter for the UFC. Randal McLelland, an Olympic athlete in skeet shooting. 2008 Summer Olympics. Brian Schaefering, a professional American football player with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. Roren Thomas, wide receiver for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League, Alexander Wright, former American football wide receiver with Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Raiders, St. Louis Rams and current athletic director and head football coach for San Jacinto Christian Academy and founder of Alexander Wright Ministries. Laura Fonnegra, a Colombian bowler who got the gold medal at the 2011 World Youth Championship, Juan Gomez, a Colombian bowler and a long time member of the Colombian National Bowling team who have won many international medals, and Dean Richards, a bowler member of Team USA who recently won his first professional title. Connor Harris, 2016 Cliff Harris award winner, signed an NFL contract with the New York Jets after the 2017 draft. Nicole Hensley, Lindenwood women’s hockey goaltender from 2012 to 2016, joined Team USA after concluding her senior season in St. Charles. After the IIHF World Championships, Nicole was named the starting netminder. Pierre Desir was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, and 127th overall. Pierre has started three games, appearing in 24, since entering the league. A 2015 Lindenwood graduate of Lindenwood, Graham Hossack was drafted by the National League Lacrosse’s Rochester Knighthawks. He currently plays for the NLL’s Atlanta Blaze.

Alumni involved in government and politics include Andrew Koenig Republican member of the Missouri House of Representatives representing the 88th district. and Gary W. Schenkel, current director of the Office of Emergency Management & Communications for the City of Chicago.

Mike Rio is a junior college national wrestling champion at 149lbs for Harper College in Illinois and then transferred to Lindenwood University to become back-to-back champion at the NAIA national wrestling championships, being named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the 2006 national championship tournament. Also, during his time at Lindenwood University he was also the college roommate of now fellow UFC fighter and The Ultimate Fighter 12 winner Jonathan Brookins. Rio is currently a professional mixed martial arts fighter; formerly competing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. John Salter is also another MMA fighter who won the 2007 NAIA National Wrestling Championship at 174 lbs.

Two of Florissant’s mayors, Tim Lowery and Robert G Lowery, graduated from Lindenwood University.


Lindenwood University offers 121 majors in diverse areas of study and confers degrees from 10 colleges and schools. The university is classified as a Master’s college and university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[65] In 2007 Lindenwood began offering doctoral programs, starting with a Doctorate of Education program that prepares students for the field of educational administration.

The Lindenwood University Press produces a number of publications in the fields of international and global studies, literary magazines, American studies, and American history.

LU has full accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Lindenwood has been fully accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission since 1921 and received its ten-year renewal in 2003–2004. In addition, LU has accreditation from the HLC to offer full degree programs online. Since 2010 LU’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship has been fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees through its seven schools:

  • School of Accelerated Degree Programs
  • School of Arts, Media, & Communications
  • Robert W. Plaster School of Business & Entrepreneurship
  • School of Education
  • School of Humanities
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Sciences
13 Notable Alumni of Lindenwood University [Sorted List]

lindenwood university ranking

In the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best College rankings (released in September 2019), Lindenwood was ranked #293-#381 among national universities. Lindenwood ranked 327 out of 395 in the National Universities category of The Washington Monthly’s 2019 University Rankings.

Faculty and research
Lindenwood has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1 and an average class size of 25 students. Unlike many universities, Lindenwood does not use graduate students to teach classes. The university currently has 716 faculty, including 233 full-time faculty and 558 adjunct faculty.

Lindenwood is home to the John W. Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise, which was founded in 2013 and comprises three focus centers: the Center for Economics and the Environment, the Liberty and Ethics Center, and the Duree Center for Entrepreneurship. The Hammond Institute is under the direction of Dr. Howard J. Wall, a former vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who joined Lindenwood in 2011 as director of the Institute for the Study of Economics and the Environment.

Speaker series and notable speakers
The university began the Lindenwood Speaker series in 2008 and conducts an annual speaker series throughout the fall and spring semesters in which notable figures in literature, arts, entertainment, science, business, and politics present various issues and topics to students, faculty, and the community. Past speakers include: Tamim Ansary author and Islamic expert; Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-A restaurants; Arun Gandhi, peace activist and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; Temple Grandin, doctor of animal science and Autism advocate; Stanley Andrisse, endocrinologist and campaigner for education for incarcerated people; former Navy SEAL, disgraced former Missouri Governor, and author, Eric Greitens; Hill Harper, actor; former MLB pitcher Jim Morris; P. J. O’Rourke, political satirist, journalist, and writer; and Reed Timmer, storm chaser and Meteorologist;[85]

Along with the speaker series, Lindenwood has hosted various speakers and political candidates throughout its history. Robert A. Taft, United States Senator from Ohio and son of President William H. Taft spoke at Lindenwood in 1948 to discuss the Taft–Hartley Act and his candidacy for the 1948 GOP nomination. John Danforth, in 1970 during his campaign for the US Senate seat representing Missouri. Leonor K. Sullivan, visited Lindenwood in 1973 as the first woman in Congress from Missouri. John Ashcroft made a stop at Lindenwood in 1983 as a campaign stop before he became Missouri’s Governor in 1984. Richard Gephardt spoke in 1985 as a U.S. Representative of Missouri. Former U.S. Senator from Missouri and Democratic vice presidential nominee, Thomas Eagleton, spoke at Lindenwood after he returned to Missouri from the senate in 1988. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State spoke on the campus in 1988. Jim Talent visited LU as a U.S. congressman from Missouri in 1995. Dora Boyd de Perez Balladares, First Lady of Panama visited the university in 1997. Matt Blunt came to Lindenwood while serving as the Governor of Missouri. The university hosted 2012 GOP Presidential candidate, Ron Paul at the Hyland Arena on March 10, 2012.


Butler Library
The Margaret Leggat Butler Library was constructed in 1930 and is located in the historic eastern region of campus. In addition to 150,000 books and periodicals, classroom, research, and quiet study spaces, the library also houses a coffee shop and a writing center. The library is a member of the MOBIUS Consortium, a statewide system that links Lindenwood’s library to libraries at other higher learning institutions across Missouri.

The Library is home to the Mary Ambler Archives. The archives were founded in 1993 and are part of the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative and the State Historical Society of Missouri. They include a collection of historical documents, official records, and special collections from the 185-year history of the university. The archives also include historical documents from Missouri during the early American Frontier and Antebellum periods. Other historical materials include information on women’s colleges, the personal papers of George and Mary Sibley, and historical documents from St. Charles County, St. Louis City and St. Louis County together with the surrounding area.

Honor societies and Honors College
Roemer Hall
Roemer Hall
Lindenwood University participates in the following national and international Honor Societies. Alpha Chi is a general scholarship honor society for students who are in the top 10% of their classes. Alpha Lambda Delta is a general scholarship honor society for students who have achieved a 3.5 GPA or higher and are in the top 20% of their class during their first year or term of higher education. Alpha Sigma Lambda, a general scholarship honor society for nontraditional undergraduate students who achieve and maintain outstanding scholastic standards and leadership characteristics. Lindenwood also has a number of other subject-specific honor societies including the honor society for the National Broadcasting Society and electronic media students Alpha Epsilon Rho, the international education honor society Kappa Delta Pi, the national history honor society Phi Alpha Theta, the national French honor society Pi Delta Phi (Zeta Pi), the international honor society for social sciences Pi Gamma Mu, the national mathematics honor society Pi Mu Epsilon, the national political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha, the international honor society in psychology Psi Chi, and national Spanish-language honor society Sigma Delta Pi.

The Lindenwood University Honors College offers students an opportunity to be recognized for academic excellence at graduation and on official transcripts and diplomas. Eligible students must have a score of 29 or above on the ACT to apply as an incoming freshman and maintain at least a 3.3 GPA for upperclass and transfer students. Students must complete 24 hours of Honors credits to graduate with University Honors.

Latin Honors upon graduation are:

  • Cumulative GPA of a 3.70 – 3.85 – cum laude
  • Cumulative GPA of a 3.86 – 3.93 – magna cum laude
  • Cumulative GPA of a 3.94 – 4.00 – summa cum laude
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