A Look Into Notable Allderdice Alumni

Mac Miller, pictured with former principal Melissa Friez, visited Allderdice in 2014

Pittsburgh Public Schools

Mac Miller, pictured with former principal Melissa Friez, visited Allderdice in 2014

Unless you are completely out of the loop, chances are the typical Allderdice student knows all too well that Mac Miller was once a student in this building. Most students are also aware that Wiz Khalifa is an alumnus, too, and visited the school in 2015. NFL running-back Curtis Martin, and the perhaps lesser known scientist Devra Davis, were also Dragons earlier in their lives. The list goes on: Hollywood director Rob Marshall, comedian Marty Allen, leading journalist Howard Fineman, and more obviously, former Mayor Bob O’Connor, are also alumni. Unfortunately, contrary to legend, Jeff Goldbum did not attend Allderdice. Despite this, it is pretty amazing that Allderdice was able to churn out some pretty successful people.

A graduate of the class of 2010, as early as freshman year Mac Miller knew that music was going to be his life passion. He released his first mixtape when he was only 15, and his first album—Blue Slide Park—in 2010. The first songs he produced he wrote over the summers and recorded on his laptop. His dedication in school coupled with his passion for rap and for explaining the truth in his experiences are a great reflection of what goes right in this school. While Mac’s career continued to grow, it still meant a lot to him to graduate from Allderdice. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, he said “They [supported] me because, at Allderdice…, I told them I wanted to graduate. It means a lot for me to graduate from somewhere that doesn’t end in dot-com. I wanted to wear my gown, walk down with my homies, go to prom, do all the stuff a regular high school kid does.” Clearly, his success can be attributed largely to his experiences at Allderdice. Much of his work reflects on the highs and lows of young adulthood, put into songs in the way that is relatable to any audience. There was something undeniably special about the music he made, which will undoubtedly always make him a part of the Allderdice legacy.

Four years ago, Wiz Khalifa payed Allderdice a visit and donated enough backpacks for every student in the school. When he visited, he remarked “It feels awesome to be back at Allderdice. I love my school. I love Pittsburgh. I love being able to spread some positivity and give kids some hope.” Nothing proves this to be more true than the release of his 2012 album, titled Taylor Allderdice. A graduate of the class of 2006, he’s extremely proud of his time in high school. He also refers to his fans as Taylor Gang, which is both a reference to Chuck Taylor shoes he is notable for wearing and Dice itself. Estimated to have a net worth of 45 million dollars, Wiz Khalifa is another living example of a huge success story in the music world.


Devra Davis, though not as relevant to most high school students as Mac Miller or Wiz Khalifa, is definitely a name to know. This may in part be due to the fact she graduated in 1964. However, this also means she had lots of time since then to become the successful scientist she is today. David is the founder and president of the Environmental Health Trust. She is also a national book award finalist and pioneer in her field. Dr. Davis has conducted research associated with environmental health hazards that is instrumental in furthering the knowledge in the oncology and epidemiology areas of study. Having worked for the National Academy of Sciences, being a senior advisor on the US Department of Health and Human Services, and having worked on the team which won a Nobel Prize in 2007- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Davis has quite a few notches under her belt. She is a great role model for academic achievement, particularly with women in the STEAM fields.

Clearly, Allderdice must be doing something right if such successful, passionate people have graduated from our school. It seems the future should keep an eye out, because maybe the next Dice Dragon to put Allderdice on the map is already on their way to success.