A Cheat Sheet of Ivy League Celebrities

CBS News has figured out why the whole world is going to pieces: people don’t have enough Ivy League role models, duh. They’ve posted a slideshow on their website of 33 celebrities who clearly think about their Ivy Education at every moment of their waking lives, or at least every moment that they aren’t waxing their upper lips and their Oscar statuettes.

IvyGate agrees that we all need some people to look up to–but as any Ivy League grad will probably tell you, there are “people,” and then there are “qualified people.” So for your benefit, we’ve decided to rate each of CBS’s featured celebs on his or her role-modelability, on a scale of 1 (might as well be Demi Lovato) to 5 (awesomer than three cans of Four Loko at the Harry Potter premiere).

1. Natalie Portman, Harvard ’03. Hangs out with Danny Aronofsky and manages to look a lot taller than she actually is. Also, way more Israeli than Bostonian. And she can rap. 4 out of 5.

2. Emma Watson, Brown ’13. Cute and sparkly, but has been known to burst into tears at the slightest incitement. Likes being a celebrity who hates being a celebrity. May at one point have been topless. Eh, not a lot of life skills there. 2 out of 5.

3. John Krasinsky, Brown ’01. Was an English major, thus showing all English majors that there’s hope for a future career that isn’t (a) librarian, (b) teacher at inner-city high school, (c) sulky Germanic Literature grad student, or (d) smug useless schmo. With a little luck, you can play a smug useless schmo on television. 3 out of 5.

4. John Legend, UPenn ’99. Graduated from high school when he was 16, cut an album with Kanye West, won a whole bunch of awards, and still gave enough of a damn about Penn to make a killer commencement speech in 2009. The man has soul, kids. 5 out of 5.

5. David Duchovny, Princeton ’82, Yale dropout. Former alien intelligence crusader, now just cruises for blond chicks with tits. 1 out of 5 or 5 out of 5, depending on your opinion of blond chicks with tits.

Lots more ratings after the jump!

6. Claire Danes, Yale dropout. Scrapped her psychology degree halfway through to go do something useful, like play the boring sister in Little Women. And marry Hugh Dancy, which sort of makes up for it, but not totally. 3 out of 5.

7. Elizabeth Shue, Harvard 00. Did she ever do anything worthwhile after Leaving Las Vegas? Oh, that’s right, she was the narrator in Tuck Everlasting. Every Ivy-Leaguer knows that anonymity = failure. Fail, Shue. 1 out of 5.

8. Sanaa Lathan, Yale 95. We don’t really know who she is, but we don’t have any reason to hate her. So 2 out of 5.

9. Kate Beckinsale, Oxford dropout. Didn’t go to an Ivy League school, but for some reason she’s still in the slideshow. Reaping the benefits of an Ivy education without actually having to suffer through it: that’s worth 5 out of 5.

10. Jodie Foster, Yale ’85. Yeah, yeah. We’re over her. 1 out of 5.

11. Matt Damon, Harvard dropout. Famous people seem to drop out a lot, don’t they? Something to keep in mind. Anyway, the notion that an Ivy League student could ever be considered the Sexiest Man Alive is pretty jaw-dropping. Maybe the Sexiest Person Wearing a Dumb Beanie at This Table. Or Sexiest IT Guy in This Cubicle. Damon is living the dream. 5 out of 5.

12. Amanda Peet, Columbia ’94. The woman has crazy eyes. Do not trust Ivy League students with crazy eyes unless you want to end up bound and gagged in the basement of the Yale Club with “HONORABLE MENTION SUCKS” scrawled on the wall in your own blood. 2 out of 5.

13. Edward Norton, Yale ’91. Hulk smash. 4 out of 5.

14. Paul Giamatti, Yale ’89 and ’94. This guy was too good for Skull and Bones? We like him already. 4 out of 5.

15. Rashida Jones, Harvard ’97. True, only on a fictional TV show would a Harvard grad ever deign to work for the Parks and Recreation Department of a bumblefuckville in a middle American wasteland–but her sourpuss face is so accurate. Proof that if  nothing else, Harvard theater classes will teach you exactly how to act like a sarcastic and underappreciated public service worker. 3 out of 5.

16. Ron Livingston, Yale ’89. Has taught us the world’s most important lesson: don’t be mean to your weird office-mate in case he sets the building on fire. 5 out of 5.

17. Joy Bryant, Yale dropout. Gorgeous model! Zero relatability. 1 out of 5.

18. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Columbia ’99. Having a brother that’s substantially hotter than you no doubt helps with that good old Ivy League inferiority complex. Still, shouldn’t she be pitying us and not vice versa? 2 out of 5.

19. Jake Gyllenhaal, Columbia dropout. And having a sister that’s substantially smarter than you means that you don’t really count as an Ivy Leaguer. 1 out of 5.

20. Ashley Judd, Harvard ’10. May have earned her master’s degree from Harvard’s School of Governance this May, but it took her 17 years to graduate from the University of Kentucky. Come on now. 2 out of 5.

21. Meryl Streep, Yale ’75. Uh, it’s Meryl Streep. She rules the free world. 5 out of 5.

22. Conan O’Brien, Harvard ’85. Uh, it’s Conan O’Brien. He looks like a boiled shrimp. 1 out of 5.

23. Brooke Shields, Princeton ’87. Wow, Princeton, you finally caught one! Depressive psycho, but that’s standard fare for the Ivy League. 3 out of 5.

24. Wentworth Miller, Princeton ’95. Who? No points for him–you have to be a celebrity before you can be a celebrity role model.

25. Elizabeth Banks, UPenn ’96. Starred in Zach and Miri Make a Porno. Pretended to be attracted to Seth Rogen. Eh, it’s a wash. 3 out of 5.

26. Anna Paquin, Columbia, indefinite leave of absence. Won an Academy Award at age 11, which is nothing less than we’d expect. Instead of going to school, though, she married a vampire. Which, let’s face it, is the stuff of our drunken dreams. 4 out of 5.

27. Julia Stiles, Columbia ’05. We’re still saving the last dance for her. Except for when we forget she exists. 3 out of 5.

28. Jimmy Smits, Cornell ’82. You know that actor who’s in everything but whose name you can never remember? Now you know his name. That sounds about right for Cornell. 2 out of 5.

29. Rachel Dratch, Dartmouth ’88. Of course Dartmouth’s claim to celebrity fame would be the former SNL host known for playing cleaning ladies and googly-eyed homeless people. Looks like Dartmouth students really do have something to look forward to! 4 out of 5.

30. Tommy Lee Jones, Harvard ’69. Yeah, he was an athlete. But according to some Yale jerks, he’s still a running topic of conversation at snooty parties. Isn’t that the goal? 4 out of 5.

31. James Franco, Yale ’16. A total grimy weirdo. Can’t even sleep through lecture without everyone freaking out. Mother Jones thinks he’s a noncommittal turd. Spent half of his most recent movie sawing off his own arm with a blunt knife. We think that sounds a lot like our own education–but we try to repress those thoughts, so 3 out of 5.

32. Matthew Fox, Columbia ’89. Not only is he the juiciest mancake ever to be marooned on a fictional island for eight bazillion seasons, but he apparently had supersexy sex all the time as a Columbia undergrad. And when he was selected to give Columbia’s Class Day speaker last year in 2007 (our bad), some students were upset because he was TOO HOT. Everyone, meet IG’s new favorite flavor. 5 out of 5.

33. And finally, because the makers of the CBS slideshow are either progressive socialists or just plain dipshits, we have Lisa Kudrow, who earned her psych degree from “Vasser [sic] college.” She probably needs it right now. Good call throwing her on the list, CBS.

…all right, commenters! Who would you pick? Don’t say Julia Stiles.


16 Responses to “A Cheat Sheet of Ivy League Celebrities”

  1. Athlete Says:

    Ryan Fitzpatrick. Oh wait, nobody in the Ivy League has ever heard of the NFL.

  2. Guest Says:

    On the Office: Mindy Kaling (Chokalingam) Dartmouth ’01!

  3. H '08 Says:

    srsly? Conan = 1/5? lamesauce.

  4. guest2 Says:

    rashida jones’ character on parks and rec is a nurse, not an employee of the parks and rec department. annnnd her character didn’t go to harvard, so, uh, great commentary on that one.

    and conan 1/5???? are you serious???

    like guest, however, i choose mindy kaling.

  5. Info Says:

    if by last year you mean 2007, then yes, matthew fox spoke at last year’s columbia college class day.

  6. anon Says:

    wentworth miller – the totally hot guy on prison break. come on.

  7. Bs Says:

    Rivers Cuomo?

    Conan 1/5 destroys your credibility.

    Cornell also graduated Superman, Christopher Reeve.

  8. Ed Helms Says:

    The actress who plays Kelly Kapur on ‘The Office’ is a Dartmouth alumna.

  9. guest Says:

    Another “Office” ivy leaguer: the person who plays Erin graduated from Princeton ’02

  10. CUgrad Says:

    Jane Lynch got her MFA at Cornell…

  11. d04 Says:

    Connie Britton Dartmouth! Aisha Tyler Dartmouth!


    Dratch got a 4/5. Are you fucking kidding me? Living proof that even the “funniest” women aren’t funny.

  13. Realist Says:

    Pretty sure Smits’ degree from Cornell is an MFA. Might as well add that Huey Lewis dropped out of Cornell.

  14. btw Says:


  15. Kylerblood Says:

    Julie Bowen aka Claire in modern family and also a lead on Boston legal . Also Laura linney are from brown 5 for both

  16. Rimsonv Says:

    Sanaa Lathan is an African-American actress who starred with Taye Diggs in Brown Sugar, Omar Epps in Love and Basketball and Simon Baker in Something New

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