Anthony J. Santoro, 77, of Swansea

Posted 9/10/19

Anthony J. Santoro, 77, of Swansea, died Monday, Sept. 9, after a brief illness. He was the husband of Pauline (Plante) Santoro.

Born in Melrose, son of the late Samuel S. and Mary (Carbonaro) …

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Anthony J. Santoro, 77, of Swansea

Posted

Anthony J. Santoro, 77, of Swansea, died Monday, Sept. 9, after a brief illness. He was the husband of Pauline (Plante) Santoro.

Born in Melrose, son of the late Samuel S. and Mary (Carbonaro) Santoro, he was a 1960 graduate of Somerset High School, and received a bachelor of arts from Boston College, and a juris doctor and master of laws in taxation from Georgetown University.

He began his career teaching at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. He was a professor at Western New England College School of Law, dean at the University of Bridgeport School of Law and dean at Widener University School of Law.

He helped establish the first law school in Rhode Island, at Roger Williams University, and was appointed its founding dean in 1993. Just days before the law school’s official opening he was named the sixth president of RWU. During his seven years as president and then chancellor, he created what is now the Feinstein School of Arts, Humanities, and Education, and led the acquisition of the Metro Center in Providence, now University College.

In 2000, he returned to the law school as a member of the faculty, teaching until his retirement in 2018. The law school granted him an honorary degree in 2016, for his “inspired and foundational contributions to the law school and to the cause of law and justice in the State of Rhode Island as a whole.” A group of his former students created the Professor Anthony J. Santoro Business Law Lecture, the school’s first entirely alumni-endowed lecture series, and in 2017, the law school dedicated a classroom in his name and he was named a professor emeritus.

Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Lynne Sullivan and her husband, Greg, of Somerset; Anthony J. Santoro Jr. and his wife, Maura, of Bristol, R.I.; Lauren Gentile and her husband, Andrew, of Somerset; and Anne Erhard and her husband, Brian, of Canton; 10 grandchildren, Kathryn, Conor and Ian Sullivan; Sophia and Anna Santoro; Lily and Mia Gentile; and William, Teddy and Luke Erhard; a sister, Linda Reidy and her husband, Joseph, of Somerset; and several nieces and nephews.

His funeral will be held on Monday, Sept. 16, at 9 a.m. from the Waring-Sullivan Home at Birchcrest, 189 Gardners Neck Road, Swansea, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 530 Gardners Neck Road, Swansea. Calling hours will be Sunday, Sept. 15, from 1 to 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Professor Anthony J. Santoro Business Law Lecture Endowment at https://give.evertrue.com/rwu/santoro. Entombment will take place in Notre Dame Cemetery, Fall River. For tributes or directions: www.waring-sullivan.com

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