The national Mortar Board Honors society was first founded in 1918, and has since grown to 228 chapters nationwide. It was the first honorary society to officially recognize women as honorees, and now has many prominent members. College seniors are invited to be elected to this society based upon their class standing, and participate in a variety of leadership and community service activities after induction. Recently, the CWRU Lux chapter of the mortar board honor society was chosen to receive the prestigious Silver Torch award. According to national guidelines for the award, campus chapters are honored only if “their chapter…exemplifies the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service.”
Yashar Niknafs, president of the Lux chapter, traveled to Chicago to accept the award. “The Mortar Board convention was unique in many ways. Aside from being a gathering of Undergraduate Honor Society presidents – a frightening bunch, I’m sure you can imagine – it was an opportunity to be an ambassador for Case Western. In this role, I truly realized my pride for my alma mater,” he said.
Yashar also stated that the Lux chapter aims to be more than a mere ‘resume’ organization. It currently consists of 25 members and puts on campus annual events such as ‘Rock for Doc.” He also said that the Lux chapter will soon be hosting its first ever glow in the dark golf tournament. The holes will begin in the north residential field on the softball field at 8:30 p.m, travels through the Mather quad and the KSL oval, then crosses Euclid to end at the Veale field. Proceeds from ticket sales will be used to create care packages for U.S. troops. The goals of the Lux chapter are similar to the national ideals; however they vary in that the Lux chapter does not wish to limit its scope to just academic excellence. The Lux chapter also seeks to excel at leadership and community service.
As previously mentioned, the mortar board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors who are at the top of their class. Because of these stringent criteria, the mortar board society has inducted distinguished members such as politician Condoleezza Rice and Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. Yashar agrees that Mortar Board presents many opportunities. “What I enjoy most about the Case mortar board chapter is that it is an opportunity for me to build relationships with excellent students in disciplines outside of the biomedical sciences. Mortar Board provides a forum for dedicated and hardworking students in all disciplines to work collaboratively to realize our ideals,” he said.