Laya Wiesner Community Award

Laya Wiesner Community Award

Established in 1999, this award honors Mrs. Wiesner’s legacy at MIT. The award is presented to a member or friend of the MIT community for conspicuously effective service that reflects Mrs. Wiesner’s concerns for enhancing life at the Institute and in the world at large.

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

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.

Past Award Recipients


  • Julie Uva, PKG Center


  • Noelle Wakefield G


  • Amy Brand, MIT Press


  • Jennifer Recklet Tassi, MIT Medical


  • Patricia-Maria Weinmann, ORSEL


  • Kate Mytty, Center for Real Estate, D-Lab


  • Julie Norman, UAAP & Senior Associate Dean, DUE 


  • Paula Ruiz Castillo G


  • Caleb Harper, Media Laboratory


  • Borislava (Bori) Stoyanova


  • Michele Pratusevich ‘13


  • Kimberly Benard, Assistant Director, GECD