The Service to Society Award is presented to a graduate who best exemplifies the ideals of a Notre Dame education through the application of their education, initiative and humanity to socially useful ends in the community, nation or world.

In 1999, the Alumnae and Alumni Association established the Service to Society Award. All graduates are eligible.

2020 Award Winner

Veronica Walker Hackett '67 Veronica Walker Hackett '67

Veronica “Ronne” Walker Hackett is a 1967 graduate of the Women’s College who continued a legacy of Notre Dame women including her grandmother, Genevieve Watson Johnson from the class of 1914 and her mother Alice Marie Johnson Walker from the class of 1943. Few can match the dedication, commitment, and accomplishments of Ronne’s decades of engagement with her alma mater.

Ronne is a shining example of tenacity and generosity. Her stellar career in commercial real estate is evidenced by having been named one of the “Most Powerful Women in New York” and one of “100 Most Important People in Real Estate” by NY business publications. In addition to co-founding the Clarett Group, a premier real estate firm, she has overseen developments in major US cities and Europe, and played a key role in the transformation of Times Square.

Her career accomplishments are extraordinary. So is her philanthropy with a demonstrated interest in the success of women and girls.  She has served as a board member of prominent real estate organizations including The Urban Land Institute, WX & REBNY as well as the Committee of 200 Women Entrepreneurs. Additionally, she was a long time director of Girls, Inc – an organization that inspires all girls to be “strong, smart, and bold.” Ronne has been a consistent and generous Meletia-level supporter of Notre Dame over the last 33 years and received the Elizabeth P. Hoisington Distinguished Alumna Award in 1992. 

Ronne, today we honor you once again and express our gratitude not only for all you do for Notre Dame, but for women and girls who gain new futures by learning from your inspiring leadership, career excellence, and exemplary service to society.

Past Winners
Year Winner
1999 Patricia Fosarelli ’73, M.D., Ph.D.
2000 Diana Mand ’69
2001 Sue Ford Patrick ’67
2002 Retta Blaney ’78
2003 Diane Roberts McGlinchey ’59
2004 Carole Artigiani ’62
2005 Margaret M. Wintz ’45
2006 Susan Mueller Aumann ’83
2007 Mary Ellen Vanni ’69
2008 Mary Ellen Dougherty, SSND ’58
Kathleen Marie Engers, SSND ’47
2009 Mary Gabriel Roeder, SSND ’59
2010 Christopher L. Benzing, M’05
Virginia Bartlett Rugemer, C’91
2011 Susan Love, M.D. ’70
2012 Judy Geilfuss Dobson ’62
2013 Margaret O'Connor Markovic '82
2014 Andrea Bowden '69, Ph. D. 
Betty Contino W'89
2015 Susan Gardiner Larkin '65 Ph.D.
2016 Sr. Patricia McLaughlin, SSND '66
2017 Mary Ellen McFadden '67, MSN '85
2018 Nancy Ruiz Lee '91
2019 Sara Martinelli de la Guardia '69