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A Breakdown of FSU’s Coolest Alumni

It’s a well-known fact that Florida State University is better than the University of Florida in basically every single way. Our College of Music is ranked in the top 10 nationwide. The FSU College of Law has the highest comparative job placement rates for graduates in Florida. Our MagLab? You guessed it: bigger and better. They can’t even beat us at football, let alone compete with our nightlife, our beautiful campus or our killer alumni network. While the University of Florida is best known for producing renowned failure Tim Tebow, Florida State has been the breeding ground for entrepreneurs, astronauts, inventors and Academy Award winners. Read on to learn more about some of Florida State’s best and brightest alumni.
Jen Gotch – Co-Founder and Creative Director of Ban.do
Courtesy: Twitter
You probably know Ban.do for it’s seriously cute planners, or maybe you follow their vibrant Instagram account, but did you know that Jen Gotch, creative director and co-founder of Ban.do, graduated from Florida State with a B.A. in English?
Courtesy: College Spun
You know him, you love him and college football wouldn’t be the same without him.
Sara Blakely – Inventor of Spanx
Courtesy: Wikipedia
Sara Blakely graduated from Florida State with a communications degree. Blakely is known for inventing Spanx, and recently became the first female billionaire to join Warren Buffet and Bill Gates’ famous “Giving Pledge.”
Hunter S. Thompson – Writer, Gonzo Journalist
Courtesy: TopTenz
The famed writer of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas took night classes at Florida State University while in the U.S. Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base.
Carley Ochs – Founder, Bourbon & Boweties
Carley Ochs graduated from Florida State University and turned handmade bracelets and bangles into an empire. 
Art Smith – Chef
Courtesy: Wikipedia
You might recognize Art Smith as the former personal chef of Oprah. Smith completed culinary internships while studying at Florida State. He has also cooked for Barack Obama and is the author of several award-winning comfort food cookbooks.
JoAnn Garcia Swisher – Actress
Courtesy: Zimbio
JoAnn Garcia Swisher is a prolific TV actress, with recurring roles in show like Gossip Girl, Reba, Once Upon A Time and more.
Norman Thagard – Astronaut
Courtesy: Wikipedia
Norman Thagard completed five space flights with NASA and is now a tenured professor at Florida State.
Alan Ball – Screenwriter
Courtesy: Wikipedia
Alan Ball is best known for writing the critically acclaimed film American Beauty for which he won an Academy Award. He is also the executive producer behind hits like HBO’s True Blood.
Burt Reynolds – Actor
Courtesy: Wikipedia
The two-time Golden Globe winner attended Florida State University on a football scholarship. Fun fact: Burt Reynolds and Lee Corso were roommates!
Jim Morrison – Singer, The Doors
Courtesy: Wikipedia
Jim Morrison attended Florida State in 1962 and was even featured in a school-made recruitment film.  
Faye Dunaway – Actress
Courtesy: Kate Bello
Okay, technically speaking, Academy Award winning actress Faye Dunaway studied at Florida State and University of Florida. We’ll go “halfsies” on this one. For a breakdown of UF’s alumni, you can check out Her Campus UFL’s article here.
Staff Writer for Her Campus FSU. Caitlin is a Senior and is currently majoring in Editing, Writing, and Media and working towards a minor in Communications. She enjoys reading in her spare time, and is passionate about art, music, politics, and food.
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