The Alcor chapter of Mortar Board at Hope College received multiple honors during the national organization's annual conference in Ohio this summer.
Dr. Dianne Portfleet of the Hope English faculty, who is one of the chapter's two advisors, received one of only three "Excellence in Advising" awards presented nationwide. For the second consecutive year, the chapter received both the "Golden Torch Award" and the "Project Excellence Award."
Hope's chapter was one of 27 recipients of the "Golden Torch Award," which honors chapters that have excelled in the areas of scholarship, leadership and service. In addition, Hope's chapter was one of the top five "Golden Torch Award" recipients, and was one of the five finalists for the national "Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award."
The chapter was among 24 recipients of the "Project Excellence Award." The award was given for two of the chapter's projects: organizing a prom for adult foster home residents with disabilities, and providing five full college scholarships for students in Tanzania.
Portfleet is an adjunct associate professor of English at Hope. She and the other "Excellence in Advising" award winners were recognized for giving outstanding service to their chapters; going "above and beyond" in contributing time and expertise to assist their chapters and members; serving as role models demonstrating leadership, professionalism and the spirit of service; and providing support to help their chapters achieve goals, overcome obstacles and meet challenges.
Jacob Holton, who is a 2007 Hope graduate from Chelsea and was the historian and director of communications for the 2006-07 chapter, described Portfleet as "a huge motivator to our group," noting that "Her love of service is modeled so effectively to our chapter that it is, in one word, contagious. Her demeanor is never anything less than extremely professional and her constant ability to lead by example is invaluable to an honor society that emphasizes leadership."
Portfleet has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1988. The graduating class presented her with the annual "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) Award in 2006, and she won the "Hope's Outstanding Woman" Award in 2003. She was the college's Commencement speaker in May.
Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service, and provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to college and universities, and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Since its founding in 1918, the organization has grown from the four founding chapters to 223 collegiate chapters with nearly 250,000 initiated members across the nation.
The Alcor chapter has existed at Hope since the 1936-37 academic year, although it did not become part of the national Mortar Board organization until 1961. The chapter had 35 members during the 2006-07 school year, and the president was Lisa C. Smith, a 2007 graduate from Dearborn.
In addition to Portfleet, the chapter is advised by Martie Bultman, wife of HopeCollege president James E. Bultman. The chapter's president during the 2007-08 school year is senior Matt Wixson of Albion.
The 2007 National Conference was held in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday-Sunday, July 27-29. Students attending were seniors Chris Bowen of Ithaca, who is the chapter's vice president for 2007-08, and Lisa Peterson of Columbus, Ohio.
In addition to being recognized in 2006, the Alcor chapter was also honored by the national organization in 2000 when it received the "Silver Torch Award" for excellence in maintaining the society's standards and two "Project Excellence Awards."