SDSU honor society ranks top in nation

by Elisse Miller

San Diego State’s Mortar Board chapter gained attention this summer as it became the very first to win the prestigious Ruth Weimer Mount Conference Excellence Award for a second time.

The award, first introduced in 2002, seeks to honor Ruth Weimer Mount, former president of Mortar Board, Inc., and the Mortar Board National Foundation.

Mortar Board is an honor society for students excelling in the areas of scholarship, leadership and service who have reached senior status at the university with at least a 3.2 GPA. Every year, the Mortar Board hosts a national conference at which selected chapters are recognized for their achievements through several awards. SDSU ranked higher than 95 other chapters, making this accomplishment no small feat.“It means that we are the top chapter in the United States. We had 22 project service excellence awards and the average is about three to four. We have events that we’ve been doing for over 20 years now and we are the top chapter for being able to plan these, execute these, be successful in them,” President of SDSU Mortar Board Allison Pierce said.

Kayleigh Neel, former president and current advisor of SDSU Mortar Board, said it requires a lot of dedication, but it pays off. “We added new events and really made sure our members knew we could do this—we could be the first chapter to get this award twice. Because our members were so excited about it, they put in a lot of effort.”

While hard work is certainly a key component in their immense success, Mortar Board also benefits from its advisors, specifically Dr. Jane Smith.

“Jane has been the visionary, driving force who’s put a huge amount of time and effort into Mortar Board. Jane really is responsible for the sustained excellence of this chapter that she puts together,” said Dr. Geoffrey Chase, Dean ofUndergraduate Studies.

“She’s been with the chapter forever. Jane brought it to where it is today. She’s that one reason why we are doing so well,” Pierce said.

Smith attributes success to the other longterm advisors and, ultimately, the students.

“I think one of the reasons why we got the award the second time is because this year it was just an extraordinary group; they were so involved and they were determined that they wanted to get the award,” Smith said.

Mortar Board will continue to try and maintain its legacy this year. “It’s mostly the outgoing officers just getting the incoming officers really excited about Mortar Board and letting them know the level of success we’ve had in the past and that makes them want to succeed just as much as the year before. People know it’s such an honor to be selected because there are only 40 members selected each year,” Neel said.

Neel has the utmost confidence in the incoming leaders.

“They are willing to learn and help Mortar Board do those events and be the best chapter, or one of the best chapters, in the nation,” Neel said.