Notable Alumni

Shady Side Academy prepares young men and women to excel throughout their lives. Our alumni continue to flourish in all aspects of the professional world and continue to make notable contributions as society’s leaders. Here are just a few of our prestigious graduates and former students:

Childs Frick (1901), invertebrate paleontologist and son of Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick

Edgar J. Kaufmann (1903), businessman and philanthropist; owner of Kaufmann's Department Store; commissioner of Frank Lloyd Wright's much-celebrated Fallingwater

Philip S. Hench (1912), co-winner of the 1950 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of cortisone and its application for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Thomas Mellon Evans (1927), American financier and one of the early corporate raiders

Richard G. Colbert (1933), U.S. Navy four-star admiral

David McCullough (1951), two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian

Paul Martha (1960), football player for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos; executive vice president for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and the NFL's San Francisco 49ers

John B. Taylor (1964), undersecretary of the treasury for the George H. W. Bush administration; professor of economics at Stanford University; the "Taylor Rule" of economics is named after him

Jerome "Jay" Apt (1967), former NASA astronaut with four Space Shuttle missions on the Atlantis and Endeavor; professor at Carnegie Mellon University

Tom Vilsack (1968), former governor of Iowa; U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for the Barack Obama administration

Chris Frantz (1970), drummer for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Talking Heads and the band Tom Tom Club

Kerry Hannon (1978), award-winning author and nationally recognized expert on career transitions, personal finance and retirement; former journalist for The New York Times, Forbes, Money, US News & World Report and USA Today

Carl Kurlander (1978), screenwriter of the film St. Elmo's Fire; writer for the TV sitcom Saved by the Bell; producer of the films My Tale of Two Cities and The Shot Felt 'Round the World; president of the Steeltown Entertainment Project

Chris Meyer (1984), Research zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution

Jon Beckerman (1987), producer and creator of NBC-TV comedy-drama Ed and ABC-TV comedy The Knights of Prosperity

Jonathan Zittrain (1987), Internet law expert; co-founder the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; professor of law and computer science at Harvard University; former chair of the FCC Open Internet Advisory commission

Peter Ackerman (1988), Hollywood screenwriter for the animated film Ice Age and voice actor for Ice Age and Ice Age: The Meltdown

Christian Borle (1991), two-time Tony Award-winning actor (2012 Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for Peter and the Starcatcher and 2105 Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for Something Rotten); star of the NBC-TV drama Smash (2012-2013)

Tunde Adebimpe (1993), Grammy-nominated musician, actor, director and artist; lead singer of the alternative rock band TV on the Radio

Melena Ryzik (1994), reporter for The New York Times and part of the team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for reporting on Hollywood's sexual harassment scandal

Zachary D. Kaufman (1996), legal academic and social entrepreneur, author

Aarti Mann (1996), Hollywood actress, best known as Priya on The Big Bang Theory

Candace Otto (1998), operatic soprano and Miss Pennsylvania 2003