posted August 19, 2008

Hope Mortar Board Chapter Earns National Honors

For the third year in a row, the Alcor chapter of Mortar Board at Hope College has received the "Golden Torch Award" for excellence during the national organization's annual summer conference.

The event's awards program recognized activities during the preceding school year.  Hope also received three "Project Excellence" awards during the conference, which was held on Friday-Sunday, July 25-27, in Columbus, Ohio.

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.  For the second consecutive year, the Hope chapter was also one of the top five "Golden Torch Award" recipients and one of the five finalists for the national "Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award."

In addition, the Hope Alcor chapter was one of 25 chapters to receive one or more of 38 "Project Excellence Awards."  Hope's three awards recognized the chapter's prom for adult foster-home residents with disabilities; full college scholarships for eight students in Tanzania; and Homecoming children's-book drive.  The prom and scholarship programs had also received "Project Excellence Awards" during the 2007 conference.

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 226 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 37 members during the 2007-08 school year, and the president was Matthew Wixson, a 2008 graduate from Albion.

The chapter is advised by Martie Bultman, who is the wife of Hope College president James E. Bultman, and by Dr. Dianne Portfleet, who is an adjunct associate professor of English.  During the 2007 conference, Portfleet received a national "Excellence in Advising" award.