By JEN CARDINES
Southington High School Wall of Honor founder Bob Brown said that this year’s class shares common threads, so it’s no surprise that 1978 Southington High School graduate Mark Boxer is included in the mix. Much like his fellow inductees, Boxer has a professional resume that’s littered with accomplishments.
After his Southington upbringing, Boxer stayed local and earned two bachelor’s degrees in engineering and physics from the University of Hartford. Boxer also received an MBA from the University of Connecticut and a second master’s degree from Drexel University.
Boxer, who was appointed executive vice president and global chief information officer for Cigna in April 2011, was first recruited to the organization over 20 years ago. That was just the start of his climb up the career ladder.
He worked for major worldwide corporations such as Xerox, Hewlett Packard, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Education remained in the picture even with high demands at work. Boxer earned a doctorate in public health and is presently a candidate for a doctorate in health administration.
“Southington should be extremely proud of his extensive list of accomplishments,” said Brown, who was also Boxer’s teacher at Kennedy Middle School.
Boxer was an honor student at SHS, but he said it was the community service program that really prepared him for a successful career. The program allowed him to volunteer in town and experience internships.
“It instilled in me the fact that giving back to those in need is not only necessary, it is expected,” Boxer said.
That mentality stuck with him over time, as he served on numerous advisory boards. To this day, Boxer remains very involved in advocacy for the disability community. The American Association of People with Disabilities presented him with the Justice for All award, which he shared with two U.S. Congressmen.
The Wall of Honor inductee has been showered with awards and accolades throughout his professional life, including distinguished alumni recognition from his alma maters.
“In addition to his extremely impressive career accomplishments,” said Brown, “he also has an extensive resume of humanitarian work, receiving awards for advancing employment of the disabled and much more.”
He was also recognized as one of Computerworld’s “Premier 100” Leaders by Insurance and Technology Magazine as one of their “Elite Eight” Technologists, and by STEMconnector as one of the “Top 100” STEM leaders. It only seems fair to be championed from the place where it all began.
“It is an incredible honor to be inducted into the Southington High School Hall of Fame,” said Boxer. “The success that graduates have found personally and professionally trace their roots back to the outstanding preparation we had in high school.”
Though he lived in Boston and even Geneva for work, Boxer’s position with Cigna allows him to live close to his hometown. He currently resides in Glastonbury with his wife and two daughters.
Boxer will be formally honored alongside other inductees during the Wall of Honor ceremony on Monday, Oct. 23 outside the SHS auditorium.
To nominate honorees for future induction classes, written and verbal recommendations can be made personally to Brown.
Applications can be found online on the high school website (www.southingtonschools.org/page.cfm?p=9034), can be printed in the school office, and submitted to Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 621-0416.