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The Blue & Gray Press | August 16, 2017

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National honors society on campus serves surrounding community

National honors society on campus serves surrounding community

By JOSEPH GARAY

As a club, the Mortar Board is not well known on campus. In fact, not many people are aware that it exists. The club however, has been a part of campus culture for quite some time.

Due to fundraising efforts of the Mortar Board Club, every Thursday for the remainder of this academic year, the Sweet Frog located in Eagle Village will be donating a portion of the proceeds from their yogurt sales to help financially challenged college students pay for products like toothpaste, and other expenses such as bus fare.

According to The University of Mary Washington’s website, the school’s Mortar Board chapter has been chartered since 1959, with roots extending from 1943, when it was known simply as “Cap and Gown.”

“The Mortar Board is a senior collegiate honor society recognizing seniors that have excelled in scholarship, leadership and service,” said Angela Dixon, president of the Mortar Board and a senior majoring in English.

According to Dixon, students are initially invited to apply during their junior year and must have a 3.5 GPA or higher to be considered.

“[Mortar Board] is very exclusive. Many students applied last semester, only a few were accepted. We currently have 19 active members on campus,” Dixon explained.

Dixon admits that the school’s Mortar Board chapter struggled at the beginning of this academic year, stating that the last active year, for this chapter, was in 2010.

At that time, according to the UMW website, they received the “Silver Torch Award at the 2010 Mortar Board National Conference for meeting management standards while exemplifying the ideas of scholarship, leadership and service.”

“When we began the school year, Mortar Board had -$29.22.  Now, from the fundraising we’ve done […] Mortar Board has $129.29 in the bank,” Dixon said.

“Our next goal is to achieve the Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award” Dixon continued, because this award, according to the Mortar Board website is “the highest possible honor given for chapter achievement – given for superior chapter operations, participation, selection, advising, visibility and communications.”

The society’s mission is not simply to recognize college seniors for their achievements in scholarship and leadership, but it aims to encourage “lifelong contributions to the global society.”

The UMW chapter is certainly increasing its visibility on campus, as it is actively participating in the campus community while raising awareness about their missions.

In regard to their fundraising efforts, for financially challenged students, Dixons said that it is a “year- long event, [which will] hopefully continue after we are gone.The proceeds [will] go to a foundation account, called Support Our Students Fund (SOS), which will be overseen by the Office of Student Life, and disbursed to help students who have financial needs, which their financial aid can no longer cover.”

To find more information about upcoming events for Mortar Board students can visit their Orgsync page. To learn more about the Mortar Board society, visit their website at mortarboard.org.

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