The Syrena Stackpole Award is given annually at reunion in recognition of a lifetime of dedicated service and exceptional commitment to Wellesley College. It was established in 1982 to honor Syrena Stackpole, class of 1909, an attorney who offered to rewrite the wills of alumnae wishing to leave money to the College, free of charge. Besides offering gratis legal services to such alums, Stackpole’s dedication to Wellesley was evident in her attendance at 63 reunions. The recipients of the Syrena Stackpole Award in 2023 were Dorothy Chao Jenkins ’68 and Lynne Marie Miller ’73.
Dorothy Chao Jenkins ’68 was honored for her “tremendous leadership, vision, and service to Wellesley,” said Kathryn Harvey Mackintosh ’03, executive director of the WCAA, in her citation. Jenkins served Wellesley as a trustee from 2007 to 2019 and is currently a trustee emerita and member of the President’s Advisory Council. Through her service, Jenkins inspired support for the College as a member of her class Durant Committee, regional vice chair for the Campaign for $150 Million, co-chair of the record-breaking Wellesley Effect Campaign, and chair of the Board of Trustees’ Development Committee. In 2018, at the conclusion of the Wellesley Effect Campaign, Jenkins noted it was the year of her 50th Wellesley reunion, and that she believed “the Wellesley Effect accompanied me all those years.”
Jenkins is committed to Wellesley’s mission to educate the next generation of women scientists and science leaders. She has given scholarships to support students studying math and science, a professorship to recognize outstanding faculty in established and emerging scientific fields, support for Wellesley’s Summer Science Research Program, and gifts enabling the creation of the Chao Foundation Innovation Hub and the Chao Foundation Math Wing in the new Science Complex. Additionally, Jenkins funded the successful admission fly-in program for both admitted and prospective students, which has been instrumental in Wellesley’s efforts to attract a broad and diverse range of students.
Lynne Marie Miller ’73 is known as “a spirited class and club leader with a special interest in exploring Wellesley’s history and documenting its present,” Mackintosh said in her citation.
A longtime member of Wellesley’s Business Leadership Council, Miller has supported students and alumnae in their careers and in their development as leaders. As class president, she led her class in a multiyear archival project to scan photos and ephemera from their days at Wellesley. Mackintosh said Miller has utilized the College Archives to great effect, most notably in researching Wellesley’s wartime code breakers of the 1940s. This research resulted in a short film produced by the nonprofit Look What SHE Did!, which was narrated by another Wellesley alumna. “This ripple effect of involving and uplifting other alumnae is common across projects she touches,” Mackintosh said. Miller has been a six-time fundraising volunteer, including service on the Wellesley Centers for Women’s Committee for the Women’s Century Fund, which at the turn of the millennium raised $10 million for research and action programs. Miller fosters engagement with alums of all ages, creating spaces for new connections to bloom. And, according to her Stackpole citation, she makes a fantastic Wellesley fudge cake.