School of Law ties help shape alumnus as Mayor of Wallingford

January 17, 2024

Mayor Vincent Cervoni raises his right hand as he is sworn in as mayor.

On January 8, Vincent Cervoni, JD ’93, was sworn in as the Mayor of Wallingford, during a ceremony marking the town’s first new mayoral leadership in 40 years.

Cervoni said attending Quinnipiac School of Law during its transition incorporating the University of Bridgeport School of Law helped shape his ability to succeed in challenging times and a desire to serve his community.

“Law school exposes you to people. You become a small community,” said Cervoni. “Our classes were among the relatively unique classes at the school, being there from the transition from Bridgeport to Quinnipiac. You become very aware of your environment when your academic environment is changing, potentially rapidly, during that time.”

School of Law Dean Jennifer Brown said Cervoni, like many of his classmates, remains connected with the School of Law as strong alumni supporters.

“What’s so remarkable about Vinny and his Class of ’93 is that they are a very cohesive class. They really know each other and stay in touch. I think they have that sense of cohesion because they did weather some very trying times with that transition,” said Brown.

School of Law Professor John Thomas recalls bonding with Cervoni as a law student over a shared interest in playing guitar and a shared approach to the study of law.

“Vinny was my favorite category of law student: someone who takes their studies but not themselves seriously. Vinny was a dedicated student. But he also valued humor and humanity and brought both to the classroom,” said Thomas.

Cervoni and his wife, Jane Callanan, JD ’93, met while they were students at the School of Law. Callanan currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board with Brown.

Cervoni and Callanan both went on to forge careers connected to government work. Callanan currently serves as General Counsel at Connecticut Insurance Department. Throughout Cervoni’s professional career, he has had the opportunity to represent several municipalities.

“Right after graduating law school at Quinnipiac, I moved to Wallingford, and since then I’ve had the opportunity to practice in an office where they represented several municipalities,” said Cervoni. “Additionally, for five years, I was the assistant Town Attorney for the Town of East Haven. So I’ve had exposure to municipal issues since the beginning of the millennium.”

After his time as an assistant Town Attorney concluded, Cervoni ran for Town Council in Wallingford and was elected to his first term in 2010. For the past five terms, since 2014, Cervoni served as chairman of the council. In 2023, when long-serving Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson announced he would not seek a new term, Cervoni was poised to run for the job.

“The chairman of the council, by our charter, is the Deputy Mayor, so I’ve been working closely with the Mayor for the past 10 years. All of that segued into my running for office when Mayor Dickinson decided he was not seeking reelection,” said Cervoni.

In another tie to the School of Law, Cervoni’s friend and classmate, Joseph Passaretti, JD ’93, served as deputy treasurer for Cervoni’s mayoral campaign.

“He’s been a lifelong friend, and he’s been a significant supporter of my endeavors in Wallingford,” said Cervoni.

Cervoni said his immediate plans as Wallingford’s new mayor will combine continuing practices which have helped the town to thrive, and applying his expertise to guide the municipality in areas of need.

“Mayor Dickinson has a history of fiscal responsibility and tight fiscal management, so I want to continue that. But where the town is lacking is we’re behind in terms of utilizing technology to run the town, so I’m going to work hard to bring the town up to speed with respect to its use of technology. And there is also a concern locally about upkeep on the real estate and infrastructure that the Town owns and manages, so I’m going to come up with an aggressive plan to bring those things up to snuff,” said Cervoni.

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