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Awards and Prizes

Each year the OCEL accepts nominations for the following awards and prizes.

We invite the campus community to nominate students for the Frances Aaron Hess and the Wendy Rae Breslau awards:

The Frances Aaron Hess '53 Award is made possible by a gift from an alumna who was a tireless volunteer in her community. The award is to a student (or students) who has/have made significant contributions as volunteer/s in the community beyond Vassar’s gates. The Award includes a financial contribution made by Vassar College to an organization of the recipient’s choosing (typically the organization where the student volunteered).

  • Please nominate students to the Frances Aaron Hess ’53 Award here.  Please contact John Bradley ( with any questions.

The Wendy Rae Breslau Award provides an annual citation and prize to one or more Vassar students completing their sophomore year who, by their words and actions during the current year, have exhibited outstanding concern for the welfare and well-being of their peers and society in general.  The award will take into account contributions made through both curricular and extracurricular activities or a combination of both.

  • Please nominate students to the Wendy Rae Breslau award here. Please contact Lisa Kaul ( with any questions

We invite community partners to nominate students for the Helen Miringoff Prize.

The Helen Miringoff Prize - In 1984 Vassar College established the Helen Miringoff Award to be awarded at Commencement to a student whose community-engaged learning project or community involvement has made a substantial contribution to an agency or to the community. During her thirty years in the Field Work Office (now called Office of Community-Engaged Learning) at Vassar, Helen Miringoff served as a vital link between the College and community, and instilled in generations of Vassar students her fervent belief in action informed by knowledge, commitment, and passion.

Please visit the Vassar Fellowship page for a full list of prizes and fellowships.