Sed Ministrare Volunteer Award

The Alumnae Association created the Sed Ministrare Volunteer Award to honor and celebrate outstanding volunteer service to Wellesley College.

Sed Ministrare Award

The Alumnae Association created the Sed Ministrare Volunteer Award in 2014 to recognize dedicated volunteer service to Wellesley College. The outstanding efforts of these alums fulfill the Alumnae Association’s mission of supporting institutional priorities by connecting alumnae to the College and each other. They have embodied the motto, “Non Ministrari sed Ministrare.”
Sed Ministrare Alumnae Volunteer Award Candidate Criteria:
  • The nominee has made significant or innovative contributions and/or shown superior performance and leadership in service to the complementary missions of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association and Wellesley College. 
  • The nominee must be an alumna of Wellesley College.
  • Current members of the WCAA Board of Directors or Trustees of the College along with current employees of the WCAA and the College are excluded from award eligibility.


Nominations for the 2021 award are now closed. Nominations for the 2022 award will be opening soon!


Please join us in congratulating the 2020 recipients!

Jane Helmchen '61 sed ministrare award receipient

Jane Helmchen ’61 has shared the benefits of Wellesley with prospective students in Germany for many years, volunteering as an Alumnae Admission Representative since 1964 after moving there shortly after graduation. In 2000, Jane started an informal Wellesley-in-Germany group by inviting alums to gather at her home. Over the years this turned into an annual weekend outing to different German cities with cultural excursions, dinners, and much conversation, all spearheaded by Jane. She has been the “Key Contact” for the Alumnae Association in Germany for the past twenty years, welcoming new alums to the area, connecting with visiting faculty, and keeping alums updated on the College. She has been responsible for the cultural program for the Wintersession in Berlin from 2013 – 2020, together with the accompanying professor, and she generously shares her time with students visiting Berlin. Jane is described as “an alumna actively dedicated to serving the causes of Wellesley College in particular—and women in the world in general.” 

lauren young durbin sed ministrare award recipients 2020

Mei-Mei Tuan ’88 is committed to fostering Wellesley connections. She has shown this through the myriad volunteer roles she’s held, and the enthusiasm, energy, and appreciation for the entire Wellesley community that she has brought to each opportunity. Mei-Mei served as president of the New Jersey Wellesley Club, Class of 1988 reunion committee, and as a HIVE mentor, as well as volunteering for the Development office on her class Durant Committee as part of the Annual Fund volunteers. Mei-Mei also served two terms as a director on the board of the Alumnae Association from 2008-2012 and is an active member of the Business Leadership Council. Mei-Mei was a long-time Admissions Representative for the New Jersey Wellesley Club and hosted several events each year, including Summer Send-offs for first-year students. She is the current president of the Class of 1988. Alums who have worked with Mei-Mei say “she exemplifies the Wellesley Effect” through her actions and dedication to Wellesley.

Francine Miltenberger ’78 & Mana Unchino ’88 sed ministrare award recipient 2020Mana Unchino ’88 sed ministrare award recipient 2020

Francine Miltenberger ’78 & Mana Uchino ’88 are both members of the Wellesley Club of Silicon Valley where they launched Circles, establishing a Wellesley version of the program originated by Harvard Business School alumnae as an informal group for female graduates there. Francince and Mana adapted the program for their club by creating small groups of local Wellesley alums who connect monthly to build deep relationships and provide peer support and inspiration for each other. Members of the groups represent an array of alums from diverse professional paths, age ranges, and personal backgrounds. Such diversity enhances the perspectives available in the confidential monthly conversations. The program is so popular and successful that it has been rolled out to other clubs. The expansion includes the Los Angeles club, who started their own Circles this past spring with training provided by Francine and Mana. Both Francine and Mana have also been active volunteers for Wellesley, holding multiple positions in their classes and clubs. Francine has served on her Class Reunion committee, as Club Book Award Chair, Club Events Co-Chair and Annual Giving Rep. Mana has been an Annual Giving Rep, Class Vice President, Tokyo Club President, and served on her Class Reunion Committee. 


Sed Ministrare Volunteer Award - Past Recipients


Erin Corcoran '13

Lauren Young Durbin '99

Julia Griffith '71


Teresita Ramos '93

Erika Spitzer '06

Jody Strakosch '79


Susan Harmon '67

Erin Flannery Keith '05

Lisa Torreano '90


Brooke Bryant '03

Sally Katz '78

Pamela McNeil '82


Jane Dean '56

Bridget O'Connor Garsh '04

Charlotte LaRue Isaacs '68

Margaret Elizabeth Barr Wang '54


Whitney Shaffer Ackerman '03

Martha Reardon Bewick '62

Charlotte Hayes '75

Helen Kriz Marshall '77