Campus organizations provide a way for Oklahoma Baptist University students to be involved and connected on campus. Organizations like Mortar Board also provide a way for students to be honored for academic excellence.
"Mortar Board is an honor society for senior students who excel in leadership, service and scholarship," said senior Nathalie Jarufe, president of Mortar Board.
Each year Mortar Board honors seniors who are at the top of their class and are involved in service and leadership roles. As an organization, Mortar Board also strives to host student events for which endorse Mortar Board's values.
"We try to do events to promote all three of those ideals," said Jarufe.
In the fall semester, Mortar Board hosted a political panel and a Dante is Dead party to promote scholarship on campus. For service, the organization worked at the annual Kerr trick-or-treat party. That event also helped them uphold another Mortar Board value.
"For the national organization we need to do something promoting literacy. The program is called Reading is Leading," said Jarufe. "We read to kids at the Kerr trick-or-treat party and we also go to Horace Mann Elementary School to read to the classes a couple times during the year."
Before the current Mortar Board members part ways in May, they plan to spend the spring semester inducting new members, carrying out fundraisers and events and making the organization's name well-known across campus.
"This year we are trying to double the members to at least 36," said Jarufe. "Applications are sent to juniors who are at the top third of their class. We ask them what they are involved in and how they excel in the three values in the community and at school."
Jarufe and the Mortar Board members hope to continue the organization's emphasis on leadership, service and scholarship with the new members. They hope their efforts will not go unnoticed in July at the Mortar Board national conference.
"Awards are presented at the conference, and for the last two years we have received the Silver Torch Award," said Jarufe. "We are working to get the Golden Torch Award to show that we did a little bit more in the community and on campus."