Back to top

Laya W. Wiesner Award

The Laya W. Wiesner Award honors Mrs. Wiesner’s contributions to women’s activities at the Institute. It was established in 1980 by the MIT Women’s League. The award is presented to the undergraduate woman student who has most enhanced MIT community life.

If you have any questions about the Laya W. Wiesner Award please contact via email.

Submit a nomination

Past Winners


  • Teresa de Figueiredo ’17


  • Bettina Arkhurst ‘18


  • Shivangi Goel ‘17


  • Rachel H. Keeler


  • Karine Yuki '13


  • Vidya Eswaran '12

Laya Wainger Wiesner, wife of MIT’s President Jerome Wiesner, served as the Institute’s First Lady from 1971 to 1980. Mrs. Wiesner earned a B.S. in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1940 and married in the same year. During the Wiesner presidency, Mrs. Wiesner was active in many Institute projects, including the MIT Women’s League, the MIT Advisory Committee on Women and Work, and the Advisory Board of MIT’s Child Development Center. She also worked to increase the number of women on the faculty. Beyond MIT, she helped found and support the Metropolitan Council on Education, was a leader of the Massachusetts League of Women Voters, and an active supporter of their efforts to aid the civil rights movement in the South.