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Awards Program

The AAVC Awards Program was started in 2001 to recognize alumnae/i who have contributed much to the vitality and success of Vassar and AAVC over many years and have inspired generations of Vassar alumnae/i.

AAVC currently bestows five awards:

Distinguished Achievement Award

Honoree Phyllis Bronfman Lambert ’48, second from right, with AAVC President Steve Hankins ’85, P’13, ’17; President Elizabeth Bradley; and Alumnae/i Recognition Chair Sharon Davidson Chang ’84, P’19.

The Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who has reached the highest level in her or his field, including the professions, science, the arts, and public affairs. While demonstrating exceptional talent, application, creativity, and skill within a certain career, this individual must at the same time exemplify the ideals of a liberal arts education and have used her or his position of visibility, power, or leadership to better the human community and serve the wider goals of society.

2019 Recipient
Phyllis Bronfman Lambert ’48


Outstanding Service to Vassar College Award

Gerry Laybourne ’69, P’93—shown here with President Elizabeth Bradley—received the Outstanding Service to Vassar College Award at Reunion 2019.

The AAVC Outstanding Service Award is presented to an alumna/alumnus in recognition of her or his extraordinary commitment, leadership, and service in promoting the goals and highest interests of Vassar College and AAVC. The award honors outstanding contributions made over a number of years in any or all of these volunteer capacities: class, club, and committee activities; fundraising; enriching campus life; or stewardship as board members, trustees or donors. Outstanding Service Award winners are ambassadors on behalf of Vassar College to the alumnae/i and to the larger community.

2019 Recipient
Gerry Laybourne ’69, P’93


Spirit of Vassar Award

Honoree Sherrilyn Ifill ’84, center, with Alumnae/i Recognition Chair Sharon Davidson Chang ’84, P’19, and AAVC President Steve Hankins ’85, P’13, ’17.

The Spirit of Vassar Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who has demonstrated extraordinary and distinguished leadership, contribution, and commitment to serving a community in which they effect positive, transformative societal change. This contribution may have been made through the recipient's career, community work, or volunteer service. The award recognizes the values of service and civic responsibility that are fundamental to a Vassar education.

2018 Recipient
Sherrilyn Ifill ’84


Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award

2018 Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award recipient Susan Donahue Kuretsky ’63 with AAVC President Missie Rennie Taylor ’68 and Sarah Moody Allen’64, member of the Alumnae/i Recognition Committee.

The Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award is presented to a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated exemplary service, leadership and commitment to engage with alumnae/i and current students through a range of programs, initiatives and activities over a period of years.

2018 Recipient
Susan Donahue Kuretsky ’63
Professor of Art on the Sarah Gibson Blanding Chair


Young Alumnae/i Achievement or Service Award

Honorees Matthew Griffiths ’17, Alejandro Dinsmore ’15, Jacob Adelgren ’15 Casey Hancock ’16, and Harris Gordon ’15.

The Young Alumnae/i Achievement or Service Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus recognized for either their extraordinary service to Vassar in any aspect of alumnae/i engagement OR for their exceptional personal and professional achievement(s) within their respective field. As a graduate within the last 10 years, recipient should be inspirational to their peers and the current student body, while exemplifying the fruits of a successful liberal arts education at Vassar.

2019 Recipients
Jacob Adelgren ’15, Alejandro Dinsmore ’15, Matthew Griffiths ’17, Casey Hancock ’16, and Harris Gordon ’15—founders of the immersive technology company eevo.