The Ten Most Famous University of Miami Dropouts
Lots of successful people have degrees from the University of Miami. Everyone from Gloria Estefan to, like, 10 percent of the NFL. But some of the school's most famous former students never graduated -- either opting to transfer or quit college altogether. Current UM kids, don't take this as inspiration to drop your studies. We're sure we could show you a totally depressing list of completely unfamous UM dropouts that includes everyone from strippers to professional parent-moochers. Keep up those studies.
Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, and his wife, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry
The patron saint of sci-fi TV fans also spent time at Columbia and the University of Southern California, but he never picked up a degree at any of those schools and instead ended up enlisting in the Air Force during World War II. However, he did pick up something in Coral Gables that he didn't at the other schools: something to talk about with the woman he would marry. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who had roles on both the original series and The Next Generation, also attended UM, but the two didn't meet there. The couple ended up meeting in California in the '60s.
Ben Folds, lead singer of Ben Folds Five
There's a rumor that Ben Folds's college drum kit lies somewhere at the bottom of Lake Osceola, which might actually be true. Folds, who attended the music school on a drum scholarship, tells a story during some live concerts about how he broke his hand defending his roommate from bullies the night before a jury recital. You tend to need both hands to drum, and Folds failed so completely that he lost his scholarship, or so he claims. So he dropped out, but not before throwing his drum set into the lake. Like a brick, it probably drowned slowly.
Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heat and CEO of Carnival Corp.
You'd think one of Miami's richest residents would have a college degree, but the Heat owner is actually a dropout. He attended UM but opted to work for his father's company, Carnival Cruises. That appears to have been a good move, since he's now the CEO of Carnival Corp.
Grace Slick, lead singer of Jefferson Airplane
One of rock 'n' roll's original bad girls briefly attended UM for about a year in the late '50s to study art, but never graduated. A couple of years later, she wound up in San Francisco and launched her singing career, first with the Great Society and then with Jefferson Airplane (AKA Jefferson Starship, AKA Starship). Slick is apparently still using a bit of her UM arts education by working on paintings intended to raise awareness of medical marijuana.
Sylvester Stallone, actor, screenwriter, and director
After a stint at the American College in Switzerland, Stallone returned to the States and became a Cane for three years while studying drama. Impatient, Stallone dropped out in 1969 and moved to NYC to chase his dreams. Shortly thereafter, he took a starring role in a soft-core porno, but soon enough he became Hollywood's biggest action hero. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from UM in 1999.
Patti Scialfa, guitarist of the E-Street Band
Few rock gods are married to women who can match them on the guitar, but that's because only Bruce Springsteen is married to Patti Scialfa. The E-Street Band member originally attended the Frost Music School's jazz conservatory program, but she spurned UM for New York University, where she eventually obtained a degree.
Kimbo Slice, punches things for money
The back-yard brawler always dreamed of being a linebacker at the U when he was growing up, but those dreams never came true. In addition to a stint at Bethune-Cookman, Slice did end up attending the school and studied criminal justice for a bit but never graduated. Which is fine, because he doesn't need much book knowledge for his current career.
Jeff Garlin, actor on Curb Your Enthusiasm
Garlin has made a career out of hanging out with Larry David, so we're not sure why he dropped out of UM. Clearly, it's not like he has anything against annoying people. Though he never earned a degree, he did plant the seeds of his future career while in Coral Gables by taking up comedy.
Charles Grodin, actor
The man best known for playing the dad in the Beethoven movies attended UM for a single semester in 1953 and '54 but left to pursue an acting career. Grodin has acted only sparsely since the '90s and went on to host his own CNBC talk show. His political commentary is still heard on CBS radio stations.
Enrique Iglesias, singer
Iglesias never wanted his famous father, Julio Iglesias, to know he had an interest in following in his crooner footsteps, so he studied business at the University of Miami. But he couldn't let go of the dream of his own singing career. So, the story goes, he borrowed money from his nanny to record a demo, sent it to record labels under a fake name, secured a deal, and didn't bother finishing up that business degree.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.
- Dolphins Fire Kevin Coyle, Promote Lou Anarumo
Thu., Oct. 15, 7:00pm
Thu., Oct. 15, 7:30pm
Sat., Oct. 17, 12:00am
Sat., Oct. 17, 10:00am
- The Six Phases of a Gentrifying Neighborhood in Miami
- Chiquitica, Dog Who Sailed From Cuba Last Month, Hit by Car