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Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society has a unique place in the history of higher education and indeed in the history of the United States. Founded in 1918, with inaugural chapters at Cornell University, University of Michigan, The Ohio State University, and Swarthmore College, Mortar Board was the first national organization to honor senior college women. Before women had the right to vote in the United States, Mortar Board members were leading their society to prominence across the country. In a real sense, Mortar Board grew up with the US higher education system and grew in step with women’s emergence as recognized leaders nationally. As a result, the history of Mortar Board members and their accomplishments provides readers with a unique window into women’s issues on campuses during the twentieth century, the importance of college student organizations to the quality of student life, and the effect of world events on American college students. Accepting men into its ranks since 1975, Mortar Board has grown into a comprehensive national college senior honor society comprised of students who exemplify Mortar Board’s founding Ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service. In preparation for its centennial, volunteers poured over fifty thousand photos, memos, and files to prepare its first-ever history. The result is a beautifully accurate, sometimes humorous, and always enlightening portrayal of college life in the United States over the last one hundred years.



Publication Date



Purdue University Press


West Lafayette


Mortar Board, College, University, Leadership, Scholars, Women, higher education, history



Mortar Board: A Century of Scholars, Chosen for Leadership, United to Serve

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