In Memoriam: Geraldine Rosa Henderson, PhD


Geraldine Rosa Henderson, PhD, speaking to a Quinlan class

We mourn the death of Geraldine Rosa Henderson, PhD, professor of marketing, who passed away in late November 2019.

Gerri was an inspiring mentor to students, faculty, and staff; a talented researcher driven by a sense of social justice; and a generous and caring friend. Her colleagues describe her as a combination of brilliance and enthusiasm with eyes that sparkled behind her leopard-print glasses when engaging with students and fellow scholars.

Her dedication to mentorship began when she herself was a student and noticed that there weren’t many faculty members who looked like her. Over the last two decades, she mentored students of various backgrounds both in her classrooms and through mentorship programs. In 2017, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the PhD Project, an organization that works to advance workplace diversity by increasing the diversity of business school faculty. She also received a multicultural mentoring award from the American Marketing Association Foundation. But awards weren’t what motivated her. She always felt that her legacy was the success of her students and colleagues. She cared for everyone she came into contact with and wanted to uplift them and help them succeed. 

Gerri inspired students and professors around the country while on faculty at Rutgers University, the University of Texas at Austin, Duke University, Howard University, and Northwestern University. She has also taught at Stanford University, the University of Virginia, UCLA, and Thunderbird School of Global Management. She published more than 50 articles, books, or book chapters with a primary research focus on global marketplace diversity and inclusion, including co-authoring the book Consumer Equality: Race and the American Marketplace. She received the 2015 Kinnear Best Paper Award from the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.

Gerri served on the national board for several nonprofits, including the National Black MBA Association and the National Society of Black Engineers, and served in various leadership roles with the American Marketing Association (AMA).

She received her PhD and MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University.

Gerri’s life will be celebrated at the following:

Celebrations of Life

Friday, December 6 at 11 a.m.
Trinity United Church of Christ
400 W. 95th St.
Chicago, IL 60628

Monday, December 16 at 2 p.m.
Quinlan School of Business
Schreiber Center, Wintrust Hall
16 E. Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611

Please remember Gerri and her family and friends in your prayers.