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Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor to receive honorary degree from Emory University

May 06, 2009

Kevin C. Quinn
(315) 443-8338

Kevin C. Quinn

Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, from Emory University during Emory's Commencement exercises on Monday, May 11, in Atlanta.

Emory's Board of Trustees voted to award Cantor the degree for her "advocacy for racial justice and for diversity in higher education, exemplifying Emory's vision of being a 'destination university internationally recognized as an inquiry-driven, ethically engaged and diverse community.'"

Also receiving honorary degrees with Cantor will be Vicente Fox Quesada, former president of Mexico and diplomat (who will deliver Emory's Commencement address); Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; and former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Cantor was named SU's 11th chancellor and president in 2004. During her tenure, she has helped forge a new understanding of the role of universities in society as Syracuse University pursues its vision, Scholarship in Action. This entails a view of the university not as a traditional "ivory tower" but as a public good, an anchor institution that collaborates with partners from all sectors of the economy to more effectively serve the needs of society.

The success of these efforts earned SU the distinction of being, along with Emory, among the first institutions to earn the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's classification as a university committed to Community Engagement and also earned Cantor a 2008 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award.

Cantor lectures and writes extensively on crucial issues in higher education, including the role of universities in their communities, sustainability, liberal education and the creative campus, the status of women in the academy, and racial justice and diversity. A social psychologist and author of numerous books, chapters and scientific articles, Cantor is recognized for her scholarly contributions to the understanding of how individuals perceive and think about their social worlds, pursue personal goals, and regulate their behavior to adapt to life's most challenging social environments.

Prior to her appointment at SU, Cantor served in many university leadership roles, including as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan and dean of its Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies; and chair of the Department of Psychology at Princeton University. She also was a professor of psychology and senior research scientist at the Institute of Social Research.

Cantor has an A.B. from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cantor's awards include the Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Woman of Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League and the Making a Difference Award from the National Council for Research on Women.

She serves on the board of the American Institutes for Research, the advisory board of Future of Minority Studies, the board of directors of the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, and is an honorary trustee of the American Psychological Foundation.

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