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Rachel Jacobs ’02, the chief executive officer of education startup ApprenNet, was one of the eight people killed in the tragic Amtrak derailment on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Rachel was an inspiring leader, a skilled social entrepreneur, and a dedicated philanthropist.
In March 2015, she assumed the role of chief executive officer of ApprenNet, an education technology company that provides instructors with a platform to deliver effective and scalable apprenticeship-style learning. Previously, she served as vice president of strategy and business development for Ascend Learning, an education technology company serving healthcare and other high-growth career industries. Originally from Michigan, Rachel earned her BA at Swarthmore College in 1997 and her MBA at Columbia Business School in 2002.
During her time at Columbia, she was involved with the Social Enterprise Club and the Small Business Consulting Program. After graduating, she worked as a business advisory consultant focused on Central Asia, then worked in corporate business development for the Eurasia Group and in various positions at The McGraw Hill Companies. Though she was a resident of New York, Rachel remained closely tied to her native state. In 2010, she co-founded Detroit Nation, a website dedicated to helping Detroit expatriates stay connected and involved with their hometown. The site also runs a free consulting program designed to foster the growth of social enterprises, nonprofits, and artists in Detroit.
To honor her remarkable life and accomplishments, Rachel’s family would like to create a scholarship in her memory at Columbia Business School. This scholarship award would provide need-based financial aid to exceptional students, with a preference given to aspiring female social entrepreneurs. For more information, please see below.
Rachel was a valued member of the Columbia Business School community and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Making a Gift in Honor of Rachel's Memory:
If you would like to make a gift in Rachel’s memory, you can contribute online or by mail. To give online, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu/makeagift. Under the selected designation field, please choose “Other,” and, on the following page, please specify “in memory of Rachel Jacobs 2002” in the comments/special instructions field. If you would like to donate by mail, you can send a check payable to Columbia Business School to the attention of Ed Cangialosi, Columbia Business School, 33 West 60th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10023. Please be sure to note that the gift is in memory of Rachel Jacobs ’02.