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Pepperdine Graziadio Business School to Honor Distinguished Alumnus Denise Roberson (MBA ’14, PKE 131) at Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony

Denise Roberson

The Pepperdine Graziadio Business School spring 2024 commencement ceremony will take place at Alumni Park in Malibu on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 10:30 AM. The event will feature an address from Distinguished Alumnus Award-recipient Denise Roberson. Class of 2024 student Amanda Auciello will deliver the student address. 

Roberson has been a trusted C-suite executive for more than 25 years. As a purpose-driven leader and change agent, she is leading some of the biggest brands in the world to actuate their business case for purpose as it pertains to building an engine for growth and innovation, driving 21st-century value creation, and using business as a force for good.

As Omnicom and the TBWA agencies’ first-ever chief purpose officer, Roberson served Fortune 500 companies including: Apple, Google, Sephora, Disney, and PepsiCo, and has been instrumental in helping businesses connect their brands with purpose and sustainability to create global impact across the stakeholder ecosystem. She is a respected speaker, author, and advisor whose expertise has been sought out by Adweek, Forbes, Cannes Lions, HBR, and the United Nations, among others.

Roberson previously led media agency Jadi Communications as its chief executive officer for nearly two decades, offering advertising, marketing, and strategic services to a number of high-profile clients such as National Geographic, Procter & Gamble, Costco, Sony, and Mazda Motorcars. Her work exploring how to bridge generational gaps in the workplace was recently featured in Harvard Business Review’s “Women at Work” series in the book Overcoming Ageism. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Switzerland’s Business School Lausanne, where she is researching the links between a corporation’s commitments to sustainability and purpose to the creation of brand value.

In 2018 Roberson joined the faculty of her alma mater, serving as a professor in the Graziadio Business School’s Presidents and Key Executives MBA program. She also offers her unique guidance to the Pepperdine community as a Graziadio and Center for Women in Leadership board member. Additionally, she serves as a board member for Oxford Leadership, HealRWorld, and Marvel Innovations.

Roberson received her bachelor’s degree in business and communications from the University of Southern California. In 2014 she completed her master of business administration in the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School’s Presidents and Key Executives MBA program.

Full-Time MBA student Amanda Auciello is originally from Toronto, Canada. She pursued an MBA with a dual concentration in dispute resolution and entrepreneurship. Actively engaged in the Pepperdine community, Auciello serves as the vice chair of the Graziadio Student Advisory Board, vice president of student relations for the Graziadio Women’s Business Association, and vice president of Student Impact for Net Impact. She also started a Seaver College/Graziadio student mentorship program to foster stronger interschool relationships and professional networks. 

Auciello has taken advantage of the University’s extensive experiential education opportunities during her tenure at Pepperdine, volunteering mediation services for Los Angeles County Small Claims Courts through the Straus Institute and participating in Pepperdine’s Global Business Initiatives. The latter included a social entrepreneurship-focused trip to South Africa and service as a business consultant to a nonprofit in Kigali, Rwanda. She also earned the SEER Certificate, intending to apply her knowledge to meaningful contributions in her future career.

Auciello hopes she left a positive and sustainable impact on the school and looks forward to remaining an active member of the alumni community. She will receive her master of business administration from the Graziadio Business School at the 2024 commencement ceremony.

For more information about Pepperdine Graziadio's commencement ceremony, visit the Graziadio Commencement website.