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Picture of Jerri DeVard
Spelman College
Distinguished Alumnus:
Jerri DeVard

At Spelman College, it was always "no excuses" for Jerri DeVard. "We were shown that women were confident, bright and powerful leaders," said DeVard. "Being a woman or black couldn't be an excuse for not doing something." That attitude propelled the 1979 graduate to a successful career in corporate America, as senior vice president for brand management and marketing communications for Verizon Communications, where she is responsible for leading corporate-wide initiatives to build and strengthen the Verizon brand worldwide.

DeVard was introduced to Spelman as a high school senior when she tagged along with her mother, Jean DeVard-Kemp, who was teaching graduate classes at Atlanta University. DeVard noticed how bright the Spelman undergraduates were who took her mother's class. DeVard applied to only one school -- Spelman.

"I just felt that was my destiny, to become a Spelman student," said DeVard. "Spelman ministers to the whole body, not just one aspect of it, and at the end of the day, performance is what counts. There is no substitute for outstanding performance."

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