Lola Pierotti Aiken

Lola Aiken. Courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society
Lola Aiken. Courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

Second wife of the George D. Aiken (1892-1984), Governor of Vermont (1937-1940) and U.S. Senator (1940-1974). Tirelessly supported education, the environment and community organizations.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

06/24/1912

Date of Death

09/08/2014

Primary Residence

Montpelier

Religion

Catholic

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Lola Pierotti Aiken was the second wife of the late George D. Aiken, Governor of Vermont (1937-1940) and U.S. Senator (1940-1974). Known for her community work, Lola Aiken tirelessly supported education, the environment and community organizations.

Aiken was born on June 24, 1912, in Montpelier, Vermont, the daughter of a stonecutter who emigrated from Italy. She graduated from Montpelier High School in 1930 and volunteered for George Aiken's U.S. Senate campaign. When he was elected, she moved to Washington, D.C., in 1941 to work in his Congressional office. Once there, she worked her way up from being the lowest paid staff member to Administrative Assistant and Staff Manager. She used her connections in Vermont to advance the Senator's efforts in office, and on June 30, 1967, she and Senator George Aiken were married. When Senator Aiken retired from office in 1975, the couple returned to Vermont.

Aiken was a long-term supporter of the University of Vermont and served on The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources Board of Advisors. She was a member of the George D. Aiken Lecture Series Board of Directors and a sponsor of the Lola Aiken Award in Natural Resources at UVM. Aiken received an honorary degree from the University of Vermont in 1975. She served on the Board of Directors for the Vermont Historical Society, the Calvin Coolidge Foundation, the Ethan Allen Homestead, Rockingham Meeting House and the Judicial Conduct Board. She was also involved with the New England Culinary Institute Scholarship Committee, Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, and Friends of the Statehouse. In 2002 she won Norwich University's Board of Fellow's Medallion Award and in 2005 she was presented with the Governor's Award for Outstanding Community Service Vermont Lifetime Achievement Award.

Aiken Hall, at Champlain College, was named in honor of Lola Aiken because of her dedication to the college. She served as a trustee for eighteen years at Champlain College, was an advocate of the Single Parents Program, and provided leadership for capital campaigns. Aiken was presented with an Honorary Degree from Champlain College in 2007. In 2008 she was honored at the Vermont Historical Society's Annual Legislative Reception in Montpelier. She died on September 8, 2014, in Monteplier.

Organizations or Movements

  • Republican Party
  • Board of Directors Aiken Lecture Series (UVM)
  • Champlain College Lectures
  • Vermont Historical Society
  • Ethan Allen Homestead
  • Friends of the Statehouse
  • Champlain College Trustee Emeritus
  • Honorary Chair, Champlain College Quadricentennial
  • Calvin Coolidge Foundation
  • Rockingham Meeting House
  • Judicial Conduct Board
  • New England Culinary Institute Scholarship Committee
  • Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice

Occupations

  • Secretary of State's Office
  • U.S. Senate Staff, 1941-1975

Education

  • Montpelier High School (1930)

Additional Information (Bibliography)

Additional Images

Lola Aiken at a VHS meeting.Vermont Historical Society.
Lola Aiken at a VHS meeting.Vermont Historical Society.
Lola Aiken on steps of the Pavilion Building. Vermont Historical Society.
Lola Aiken on steps of the Pavilion Building. Vermont Historical Society.
Lola and George Aiken, 1977. Vermont Historical Society
Lola and George Aiken, 1977. Vermont Historical Society
Lola Aiken as high school student. Vermont Historical Society.
Lola Aiken as high school student. Vermont Historical Society.