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.

Distinguished Achievement Award

2020 AAVC Distinguished Achievement Awardee John Carlstrom ’81

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.

2020 Recipient

John Carlstrom ’81


Outstanding Service to Vassar College Award

Pat Jordan '72, P'17, recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Service to Vassar Award

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.

2021 Recipient

Pat Jordan ’72, P’17


Spirit of Vassar Award

Susan “Susie” Neuberger Wilson ’51, recipient of the 2020 AAVC Spirit of Vassar Award.

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.

2020 Recipient

Susan “Susie” Neuberger Wilson ’51


Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award

Robert Pounder, Professor Emeritus of Classics and former Special Assistant to the President, received the 2020 AAVC Outstanding Faculty Award during an online tribute in October 2020.

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.

2020 Recipient

Robert Pounder, Professor Emeritus of Classics


Young Alumnae/i Achievement or Service Award

Bitcoin Pioneer Olaf Carlson-Wee ’12 received the 2020 AAVC Young Alumnae/i Achievement Award during Vassar’s Convocation ceremony in September 2020.

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.

2020 Recipient

Olaf Carlson-Wee ’12