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Since its official opening in 1927, UH has been welcoming Coogs to embark on the college experience and help them achieve more than just academic excellence. From Jim Parsons to Taylor Swift’s mom, Andrea Swift, many UH alumnuses have gone on to achieve great things in various industries. Even if they didn’t graduate, some Coogs still found success in entertainment. Here are some famous people who’ve attended UH.


While many have become privy to Lizzo’s college days, some still might not be aware that the “Good as Hell” singer was once a Coog.

The flute-playing performer briefly studied music at UH and was a part of the Spirit of Houston Marching Band. Although she eventually dropped out before her junior year, Lizzo continues to associate herself with the University. She visited the campus back in 2019.

Lizzo recently announced she was creating a $50,000 scholarship for music students in the Moore School of Music at the University.

Lil Wayne

Although the “Lollipop” rapper dropped out of high school, he saw the value of higher education. In January 2005, after acquiring his GED, Lil Wayne attended UH as a political science major.

According to an MTV article, the multi-platinum-selling hip-hop artist, who is originally from New Orleans, chose UH because of its proximity to his hometown and considered Houston his “second home.”

Lil Wayne’s time as a Coog was brief, reportedly due to the demands of a flourishing music career. According to various sources, he later enrolled in online classes at the University of Phoenix, majoring in psychology. He received an honorary degree from UH back in 2008.

Mary Kay Ash

The late Mary Kay Ash was born in Cypress, TX, and later became the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Inspired by her hardworking mother who was a nurse and restaurant manager, Ash set out to make something of herself and began working as a salesperson for a home products company.

She briefly studied at UH to become a doctor but eventually decided selling was her calling in 1942. This decision led her to have a famous multi-million dollar company.

Liza Koshy

Born in Houston, the comedian started her young adult years at UH to study business marketing before moving to Los Angeles to become famous.

Koshy only spent her freshman year at the University in 2014. In an interview, she called it “the best year.” She also felt connected to President Renu Khator, who she joked and called “auntie,” due to their similar cultural background.

Eventually, Koshy dropped out, but she was confident that her personality would bring her success in the entertainment industry. And she wasn’t wrong.

James Franco

While James Franco never attended the University, he almost did.

The “Spider-Man” actor had attempted to study at the University in 2011, only for him to have never attended. According to a Chron article, Franco was accepted into the doctoral literature and creative writing program at UH, and he had asked to begin his studies in 2012. However, in 2012, it was announced that Franco would not be attending after all, due to a busy schedule.

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