Award Recipient: Nancy Cantor

Chancellor, Syracuse University

The Onondaga Citizens League (OCL) awarded the 2013 Levi L. Smith Civic Education Award to Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor, at is June 5 annual meeting at the WCNY Broadcast and Education Center. Marilyn Higgins, Vice President for Community Engagement at Syracuse University, accepted the award on behalf of the Chancellor.

Nancy Cantor is a distinguished higher education leader who is helping forge a new understanding of the role of universities in society. As Chancellor and President of Syracuse University, she spearheads pursuit of its vision, Scholarship in Action, 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.

She has brought new meaning to the phrase civic engagement. In her eight years of leadership, Chancellor Cantor has created strong partnerships between the Syracuse community and the University. Syracuse University has pursued local engagements in key areas – such as environmental sustainability; art, technology, and design; neighborhood and cultural entrepreneurship; and urban school reform – bringing together university and community to share talent and ideas to create local impact.

The Onondaga Citizens League, administered and supported by University College of Syracuse University, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization designed to promote citizen education and involvement in public affairs. OCL was created in 1978 by a group of concerned citizens to study problems and propose solutions to issues facing Central New York. The League does not promote specific legislation nor function as a lobbying group. For more information, visit the web site,, or call 315-443-4846.