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What is Mortar Board?
Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service. Mortar Board began in 1918 as the first national organization honoring senior college women. When the society opened its membership to men in 1975, the organization maintained a tribute to the founders and its heritage by strengthening the Preamble to the Constitution by including a commitment to the advancement of the status of women.
While it is an honor to be selected for membership in Mortar Board, it is the commitment to continue serving that differentiates our honor society from an honorary one. Accepting membership means accepting the responsibility and obligation to be an active participant in chapter activities. This commitment is an agreement to actively support the ideals of the society.
We are bound together by a motto shown to the world by three Greek letters, Pi Sigma Alpha. These letters represent the ideals of Mortar Board: Service, Scholarship, and Leadership.
The Preamble to the Constitution delineates the purposes of Mortar Board:
“We, the undersigned, recognizing the advantage of a national union of senior honor societies, do hereby unite to form a national society whose purpose shall be to facilitate cooperation among these societies, to contribute to the self-awareness of its members, to promote equal opportunities among all peoples, to emphasize the advancement of the status of women, to support the ideals of the university, to advance a spirit of scholarship, to recognize and encourage leadership, to provide service, and to establish the opportunity for a meaningful exchange of ideas as individuals and as a group.”
To date, Mortar Board has over 200 university chapters, 50 alumni chapters, and 25 different sections nationwide. Upon graduating, members are highly encouraged to keep their names and addresses current with the National Office.
Mortar Board chapters across the nation are challenged to provide thoughtful leadership to the campus and community, to create an environment of effective communication, to move toward a meaningful goal, and to maintain the ideals of the society. Each chapter has the autonomy to determine implementation of the goals, National Project, and resolutions and recommendations set forth by delegates to the National Conference.
Since 1918, about a quarter million college seniors have been initiated into the Mortar Board tradition of scholarship, leadership, and service. We welcome you and invite you to share in our tradition.