OSWEGO — Two distinguished alumni of SUNY Oswego, Christene Barberich, global editor-in-chief and a co-founder of award-winning lifestyle media company Refinery 29, and Robert E. (Bob) Moritz, global chairman of PwC, will receive honorary doctoral degrees on May 12, at SUNY Oswego’s 157th Commencement.
Barberich and Moritz, each serving as a Commencement speaker, will receive the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters from the State University of New York (SUNY) during their respective ceremonies. A class of 1991 alumna in English writing arts and art, Barberich will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Moritz, class of 1985 in accounting, will address graduating students in the School of Business at the 1 p.m. ceremony.
All of SUNY Oswego’s Commencement ceremonies will be held in the Marano Campus Center convocation hall.
“We are particularly proud to recognize Christene Barberich and Bob Moritz, not only for their vast and impactful professional accomplishments, but for their dedication to and advocacy for diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace and in leadership roles,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley. “The success and high regard they have each earned throughout their careers are direct outcomes of their skills, talent, motivation and commitment to excellence – all traits SUNY Oswego’s most successful graduates are known to possess.”
Global editor-in-chief and co-founder of Refinery 29, Barberich started the award-winning lifestyle media company in 2005 from an initial investment of $5,000 and a 750-square-foot apartment. Little more than a decade later, Inc. magazine placed the New York-based multimedia platform’s value at $500 million.
An award-winning media maven who leads from a place of innovation and inclusivity, Barberich and her 600 employees reach 550 million women across platforms worldwide every month with breaking news and stories of empowerment, expression, diversity and identity. Now identifying as a digital-media and entertainment company, Refinery29 has offices in Los Angeles, London and Berlin.
In an interview last June with The Observer, Barberich stressed her advocacy for women in the workplace and the importance of bringing female perspectives to all issues in society: “It can’t be underestimated how important it is for young women to see themselves in leadership roles and know it’s not only possible, but it’s just the beginning. This applies to diversity and inclusion across both our content and our leadership, and while we’re always making strides in these areas, we know we have more work to do.”
To that end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Barberich to serve on the first New York State Council on Women and Girls. The role has provided her a means to become a pivotal force driving public policy to advance women’s rights and equality.
Read more about Barberich at oswego.edu/commencement-speakers.
Robert E. (Bob) Moritz
Global chairman of PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), Moritz has strived to boost the opportunities of others as he has risen to ever more responsible leadership positions at PwC. An internationally respected leader of a global network of more than 236,000 people in 157 countries, Moritz has encouraged innovation, welcomed different perspectives, challenged the status quo and led by example, emphasizing team over individual interests.
He has also become a critical advocate for women, diversity and equality. In 2014, he was invited to speak on a panel at the White House Summit on Working Families. He is a founding member of the 30% club, a group of chief executive officers committed to promoting and helping to ensure better gender balance at all levels of their organizations.
Moritz also represents PwC as a founding member of the United Nations’ HeforShe 10x10x10 IMPACT Champions network, which engages key decision makers in governments, corporations and universities around the world to make gender equality a priority and to drive change from the top.
“Part of my personal commitment is to move the needle on gender equality,” he said. “HeForShe at PwC will harness the immense power of our network to promote inclusion and foster greater equality.”
Moritz applied the academic and life lessons learned at SUNY Oswego to launch a remarkable career at PwC, working his way up from an entry-level position in 1985 to earning the respect and support of the 11,000 partners worldwide who elected him their leader in 2016.
Read more about Moritz at oswego.edu/commencement-speakers.
According to the SUNY Honorary Degree Nomination Guidelines, SUNY honorary degrees recognize excellence in business, philanthropy, public affairs and public service; honor meritorious and outstanding service to a SUNY campus, SUNY as a whole, the United States or to humanity at large; recognize lives and significant achievements to serve as examples of a campus’ aspirations; and/or elevate a campus and SUNY by honoring widely known and highly regarded individuals in their respective fields.