The Alcor chapter of Mortar Board at Hope College has placed first in the national organization's recent "Virtual Book Drive."
The drive was held to help support local literacy initiatives, providing children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. The national program raised a total of $25,586.24.
Hope's chapter raised $4,716.65 for the drive, exceeding the total raised by the second-place finisher by more than $1,300. As a prize, the chapter received a $500 Borders gift card to buy books for a local community organization.
The funds that Hope raised will be contributed to Van Raalte School in Holland. The recipient of the gift card is still being determined.
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's advisors are Dr. Dianne Portfleet, who is an adjunct associate professor of English, and Martie Bultman, who is the wife of Hope College president James E. Bultman.
The chapter has repeatedly received national recognition. This past July, for example, the chapter received its third consecutive "Golden Torch Award" for excellence and three "Project Excellence Awards" during the national organization's annual summer conference. During the 2007 summer conference, in addition to awards received by the chapter itself, Portfleet received one of only three "Excellence in Advising" awards presented nationwide.