Rylee Seavers | Staff Writer
The Laurel chapter of Baylor’s Mortar Board will begin recruitment for the 2017-18 academic year in early February.
Juniors with a 3.05 GPA or above will receive an email with information on how to join Mortar Board. Applications will be due on March 14, said Boerne senior and Laurel chapter Mortar Board president Anya Maltsberger.
Mortar Board was founded in 1918 as an all-women’s honors society. It is a senior honors society that recognizes students with exemplary scholarship, leadership and service, according to its website.
Once students apply, all current members of Baylor Mortar Board will vote on applicants, Maltsberger said. The selection process is anonymous and is based solely on academics, past leadership experience and short answer responses.
Baylor’s Laurel chapter was started in 1961, and in 1975, Mortar Board began accepting men and women, Maltsberger said.
“It’s people who care about their community and care about maintaining academic excellence,” Maltsberger said.
Mortar Board offers lifelong membership as well as opportunities to participate in the planning of Mortar Boards annual events. Mortar Board holds, on average, one meeting a month. Meetings are always meant to accomplish a specific goal, Dana Point, Calif., senior and circle of achievement chair Daniel West said.
Each year, Mortar Board plans an international student mixer, endowed lecturer event, recruitment of rising seniors and the Circle of Achievement banquet. Circle of Achievement is an opportunity for members of Mortar Board to invite a professor that has helped the members of Mortar Board grow and learn to a banquet, West said.
“A lot of [Mortar Board] centers around the four major events over the year,” West said. “Mortar Board has given me the opportunity to plan an event when I hadn’t had any event planning [experience] before.”
Mortar Board is looking for students who have an excellent academic record, commitment to serving their community and a history of leadership. The chief purpose of Mortar Board is to unite students who possess these qualities and form a diverse group of people, Maltsberger said.
Mortar Board members are from a diverse group of majors ranging from political science to pre-medicine. Mortar Board is more than just something to add to a resume, West said.
“It’s become a great experience where you get out what you put in,” West said. “If you put in a lot of effort, it gives a lot. It’s really true to that nature of letting your merits speak.”