Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 8/17/01Devejian Will Give Commencement Address For the Persons Schoolof Marlboro College

[Note: A detailed biography of Deborah Devedjian is included at end of press release. ]

MARLBORO, VT ═Copernicus Learning Fund founder Deborah Devedjian will be the keynote speaker for the Fourth Commencement of the Persons School of Marlboro College on August 26.

Devedjian established Copernicus Learning Fund, L.P., in July 2001 to invest in education and training (E&T) companies and to address the private equity needs of this under-served $2 trillion global sector. According to Devedjian, the sector is ripe for investment as it is undergoing four fundamental changes: demand for accountability, advances in science and technology, structural changes, and growth of the knowledge industry.

Before launching Copernicus, Devedjian worked for 18 months with Warburg Pincus, one of the largest global private equity firms, with $14 billion under management. She created and led the firm's Education and Training Investment Group, establishing Warburg Pincus as the world's leading investor in the field. The 12 companies now in the portfolio represent $250 million in investments in K-12, higher education, and corporate training and information. Within three months, Devedjian quintupled deal flow from 10 deals per month in January 2000 to 50 deals per month.

Devedjian's professional background also includes: founding RoundTable Partners, Inc., an international venture finance and advisory boutique that incubates high-tech ventures and turns around middle market companies; co-founding a plant biotechnology company that sold the first commercial, genetically engineered plants for nonagricultural applications with repeat clients including DuPont, IT Corp., and the U.S. Army; and being the first American selected for the 10-member Transitional Team to write the business plan and launch operations of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (a $13-billion merchant bank founded by 55 countries to finance private-sector ventures in Eastern Europe and the former USSR).

A Philadelphia native, Devedjian holds a B.A. cum laude in economics and art history from Yale University (1984) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School (1988). She has delivered or written more than 100 speeches and articles on venture capital, education reform, and international business.

Devedjian will be addressing 78 students in the Persons School's commencement exercises ═ 39 receiving a Master of Science in Internet Strategy Management, 14 receiving a Master of Arts in Teaching with Internet Strategies, and 25 receiving a Master of Science in Internet Engineering. The Persons School's first graduating class in 1998 numbered 21, followed by 56 in 1999, and 69 in 2000.

The makeup of the 2001 graduating class includes 15 percent of students in their 50s, 28 percent in their 40s, 35 percent in their 30s, and 18 percent in their 20s. They primarily reside in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Established in 1997, the Persons School of Marlboro College has become nationally renowned for preparing individuals for the multidisciplinary demands of the online profession, and for producing leaders who understand the latest technology and the fundamental changes that occur when schools and businesses go online.

All three of the master's-level programs are completed in one year, and are designed for working professionals who meet every other weekend and online for their studies. To graduate, each student must complete a Capstone project, the equivalent of a traditional master's thesis. A Capstone project demonstrates mastery of the interdisciplinary curriculum and the implementation of an innovative concept for the use of the Internet in an organizational or educational setting.

Sample Capstone titles for 2001 include: Dynamic Internet Directory for Young Children and Emergent Readers; Storybooks Online; Radio Free Brattleboro: Internet Streaming Audio; Baseball Mogul Wireless; and Pre-Trip Curriculum for Rocky Shores Explorations at the Seacoast Science Center.

Commencement will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Persons Auditorium in Marlboro.

Continuing last year's tradition, the Persons School plans to have a live Webcam at commencement, enabling the ceremony to be viewed online via a link on the Persons School Website at

For more information, please call (802) 257-4333.

Biography: Deborah Devedjian

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