Mortar Board has a rich national history as an organization honoring senior college students. Its members’ dedication to scholarship, leadership, and service truly set it apart as an honor society. Mortar Board got its start as a national organization in the fall of 1915. Two women, one a member of the already-existing Mortar Board organization at The Ohio State University, and one a member of Phi Sigma Chi at Swarthmore College, noticed that they both wore pins in the similar shape of a mortarboard and realized that their honor societies were very similar, the biggest difference being their names. The name Mortar Board, taken from Ohio State’s honor society, was used in correspondence to prospective chapters following the first national meeting. Mortar Board was originally an honor society for senior college women, the first of its kind. Membership to male students was opened up in 1975, and Mortar Board became an organization to both “emphasize the advancement of the status of women” and to “promote equal opportunities among all people.” In 1985, Mortar Board delegates passed a resolution for a national project to be selected at every national conference. The changes in Mortar Board over the years have reflected the changes in our ever-shifting society. However, amidst everything, Mortar Board had always remained dedicated to the ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service, and strives with each year to promote those ideals on college campuses around the nation.
For more information about Mortar Board, visit their website here.