Wesleyan’s Mortar Board is one of only 230 prestigious chapters across the nation.

The national honor society for senior students prides itself and lifelong members on the principles of scholarship, leadership and service.

Mortar Board began with two students who met coincidentally in 1918. Although the students were from different campuses, they wore similar pins – mortarboards. Later, those women were instrumental in the initiation of the organization at four college campuses.

Today, Mortar Board continues the nearly 100-year-old traditions of the mysterious “tapping” of new members and providing opportunities to serve campus, community and the nation.

Wesleyan student, Melody Armijo, vice president of communications for Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society said the application process begins after each fall semester.

“It will be in early June and will last until February,” Armijo said. “Selection and everything is done in March and tapping in April.”

Historically, newly selected members are “tapped” as an induction into Mortar Board.

“When we tap them, it’s to let them know, ‘You have been selected,’” Armijo said. “This year, we’re doing it in full robe. It might be in class, it might be while they’re out doing something. We don’t give out names. We don’t give out dates, so [new members] are caught by surprise.”

This year, Mortar Board selected 24 new members into the national honor society. As members of Mortar Board, the newly tapped members can look forward to becoming a part of a society with local and nationwide impact.

“Mortar Board is very active on campus. We hold a lot of events to bring awareness to the students on campus about our organization,” Armijo said. “We do community service, [and] we participated in the DIABEATTHIS festival. For our convention, [we] took books… to be mailed out to schools. Through fundraising, [we] collect money to give school supplies, at the half-year mark, to a local school and a school in Africa.”

So the floating mass of robes is not the Voltaire. They are among Wesleyan’s student leaders, commissioned to seek fellow Rams in a quest to influence the world with scholarship, leadership, and service. DIABEATTHIS