Please include your chapter’s history in the area provided below. It may contain the following facts, if known:
- The significance of your chapter’s name
- Example: The name Der Hexenkreis means “the witch’s circle” and symbolized the secrecy of the society at the time, which was kept entirely secret. Members were not allowed to mention its existence or purpose. [This is the name of Cornell University's chapter.]
- Your chapter's local founding
- Is your chapter first founded on campus as a local organization and later affiliated with Mortar Board nationally? If so, describe.
- Example: Der Hexenkreis has a long history at Cornell University, even before it became one of Mortar Board’s founding chapters in 1918. Founded in 1892, the society had six members. The chapter’s inspiration was to have “a society like the very secret organizations of the men students; to have as members representative girls; to be restricted to seniors.” The purpose was “to maintain a high social standard among women of the university, by example and influence to create a proper sentiment on those questions which concern the good of all, and to represent the best element among the women students with regard to both social and intellectual qualities. Der Hexenkreis developed secret rituals and traditions.
- The names of those responsible for the founding of the chapter
- Example: The first members were Elizabeth Mary Comstock, Mary Patterson Harmon, Josephine Spencer, Caroline Herder Swartout and Estella May Vedder.
- Any historical landmarks or changes made in the chapter during its existence
- Example: 1922 marked the year for the first tapping held on the eve of the spring mass meeting for university women. In 1927, the chapter decided that its chief aim for the year would be to act in an advisory capacity with the dean of women on campus problems. Throughout the 1930s, Mortar Board held scholarship teas for promising first-year women, usually those with the highest GPAs. In 1936, Mortar Board dedicated its projects for the year to addressing various campus issues including smoking on campus, etiquette and cutting classes. This idea culminated with the publication of “The Co-Ed’s Creed,” a small pamphlet for freshmen women which offered advice to new students on a variety of topics, but mostly on student life at Cornell. During the early 1970s, many members were apathetic and felt too busy to be terribly involved in Mortar Board. In 1980, the chapter co-sponsored a revolutionary three-day conference on issues important to college students including feminism and female health. In 1996, the chapter hosted a one-day conference of administrators, students and faculty to discuss important academic topics.