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West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor Inducted Into UConn Hall of Fame

Shari Cantor at the UConn School of Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Photo courtesy of Michael Cantor
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In a ceremony held Friday, March 24, West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor was inducted into the UConn School of Business Hall of Fame.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor said that when she entered the School of Business at UConn in the late 1970s, only about one out of four students in the class were female.

On Friday, Cantor was one of four distinguished alumni – the one woman among the four – inducted into the University of Connecticut School of Business Hall of Fame.

“I walked into the class with this welcoming, accepting, warm professor who proved to be so encouraging to all of his students,” Cantor told the audience at the induction ceremony. “The challenges that he had to overcome inspired all of us to work hard and take on the challenges with strength and appreciation.”

Shari Cantor with her favorite professor, Mo Hussein, at the UConn School of Business Hall of Fame induction on March 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Shari Cantor

That professor, Mo Hussein, had just arrived at UConn from Sudan when Cantor walked into his cost accounting class. During the past 38 years, Hussein served as accounting department head and was interim dean of the School of Business from 2006-07.

Hussein told Cantor that her comments at the induction ceremony brought tears to his eyes.

Cantor graduated magna cum laude from UConn in 1981. She earned her CPA designation and previously worked for Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and CIGNA.

In addition to being mayor of West Hartford, and previously serving as deputy mayor and a member of the Town Council, she has been a member of UConn’s Board of Trustees since 2014. Cantor also has an extensive resume of volunteer and leadership experience with organizations such as the American Heart Association of Northeastern Connecticut, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, West Hartford Rotary, Foodshare, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, West Hartford Art League, and American School for the Deaf. She has earned other accolades, including a Malta House of Care “Wonder Woman” in 2016 and West Hartford Rotarian of the Year in 2011-12.

At the induction ceremony, Cantor was lauded for her leadership of West Hartford, specifically her “commitment to residents, vision for the future, governing with respect, and including all voices.”

Cantor and her husband, Michael Cantor, are only the second husband and wife team in UConn Hall of Fame history. Michael Cantor, who graduated from UConn with a BS in chemical and materials engineering in 1979 and earned his JD from UConn School of Law in 1983, was named to UConn’s Academy of Distinguished Engineers in 2003. He is owner and co-managing partner of law firm Cantor Colburn LLP.

The Cantors have four boys – Josh, Sam, Ben, and Jacob – who are now all young adults and reportedly all “bleed blue” for UConn.

Also inducted into the School of Business Hall of Fame on March 24 were: George R. Aylward ’88 (President & Chief Executive Officer, Virtus Investment Partners, Inc.); John R. Fodor ’85 (Investor and Entrepreneur); and  John P. Malfettone ’77 (Senior Managing Director, Chief Compliance Officer
& Procurement and Risk Manager, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC).

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