Carleton College isn’t really known to have an expansive list of notable alumni. Luckily for us, we can use our imagination to inflate our egos and pretend we’ve got a Harvard-caliber list of famous people who used to slog through classes here.
The man, the myth, the legend. Ever since typecast as the role, Carricart infamously portrayed “a deputy” in the 1985 thriller The New Kids. Carricart was always known to bleed maize and blue, even writing into his will his wish to have his ashes scattered over the Hill of Three Oaks.
I think there’s an old saying somewhere that the French love Carleton. And so do, apparently, actors in French New Wave movies directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Richard played “a journalist (uncredited)” in the 1960 film Breathless and by God if he didn’t kill it. He single-handedly made me almost trust journalists again.
Unbeknownst to most Carls, our school makes big headway in Chicago’s hip hop scene. A prolific rap artist, Cohn—better known by his stage name, Serengeti—has strong, historic ties with our school. Though he’s known for sprinkling into his music subtle references to Carleton, his most direct bar mentioning the school was from his 2006 song “Meth”:
“Carleton Carleton makes me go Barleton/Yeah yeah it’s a cool school Carleton/Carleton Carleton Carleton Carleton Carleton/Snow lots of snow yeah lots of snow/It’s all over the place”
The bassist for the Lowell, Mass. band oldsoul has often voiced his regret over not attending Carleton. In a July, 2018 interview, Stevens stated:
“I’m happy I attended UMass Lowell, but dammit if I don’t wish I went to an isolated school in Minnesota plagued by fierce winds and relentless snowfall.”
With the last name Weitz, how could this guy not be a Carleton alum? Perhaps best-known as one of the four members of experimental pop group Animal Collective, Weitz contributes screechy, often annoying synths to the band’s repertoire. Could’ve easily been on the electronic music path within the Carleton’s music major.
Carleton has gained attention the past few months due to the role one of our most famous alums, Jimmy Chin ‘96, as the lead cinematographer for the Oscar-nominated documentary Free Solo. Almost as notable would have been the vast and illustrious career of Will Lawson—a member of the production team for an episode of Planet Earth II—if he had gone here.
Carleton’s status as an all-men’s Catholic College has historically attracted many God-favored theatrically-talented fellows.
Perhaps if it were a bit more religious it would have on its list of alumni the Hollywood-famous Richard Molinare, who played Apostle Andrew in the 1973 film Jesus Christ Superstar.
“Blessed are those who mourn the loss of Richard Molinare, for they shall be comforted.” –Matthew 5:4
I learned that one from my mandatory Bible Studies class.
Beginning in 1936, Pete Seeger’s father, the Harvard-educated Charles Louis Seeger, held various administrative positions within the United States government’s Farm Resettlement Program. Carleton College is surrounded by farms, so it’s probable that he passed through Minnesota at some point, made a stop at our school, then imparted to his son the things he learned here.
And it is also likely the case that Pete Seeger imparted that knowledge to Arthur Kevess, renowned folk song translator and writer of “Die Gedanken sind frei,” the second song on Seeger’s third studio album, Dangerous Songs!?
William J. Lynch
In line with Carls’ obsession with grad school acceptances, William J. Lynch (unfortunately a graduate of Loyola University Chicago) worked occasionally as a legal partner of the late former mayor of Chicago, Richard J. Daley. And, akin also to the Carleton administration, Lynch was familiar with corruption and bureaucratic laziness. He’d have fit right in here.
He’s musically gifted, part of So Percussion—an NYC-based percussion quartet—and contributed percussion to Dan Deacon’s fifth studio album, Bromst. He’s into obscure music and has minor contributions to underground works of art. If that doesn’t scream Carl, I don’t know what does.
He’s from Chicago; that’s decently close to Carleton. (Also was president.)