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Source: Candice Hironaka, 785-532-6085,
Web site:

Monday, Aug. 31, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's chapter of Mortar Board, the national college senior honor society, has again been recognized as one of the best chapters in the nation.

The K-State chapter has received the Golden Torch Award, which is presented to outstanding Mortar Board chapters that go above and beyond the minimum standards for chapters throughout the academic year. It is the sixth time in the last seven years that K-State has received the award. Chapters are selected for the honor based on their commitment to Mortar Board's three key ideals: scholarship, leadership and service. K-State was one of only 32 chapters to receive the award.

The K-State chapter also was among 28 chapters to receive a Project Excellence Award. The honor is granted by a selection committee for outstanding service projects. K-State received the award for its involvement, along with other schools in Mortar Board's Section 17, with Service Day at Harvesters Community Food Network in Kansas City, Mo., in October 2008.

The event, which included 32 Mortar Board members from K-State and six other chapters in Kansas and Missouri, was organized by Victoria Luhrs, Mortar Board's Section 17 coordinator. Luhrs is a K-State alumna who was president of the K-State Mortar Board chapter in 2004-05. Students involved helped sort donations at the food bank's warehouse.

The awards were presented at Mortar Board's national conference in late July. Accepting the honors on K-State's behalf were Veronica Baus, senior in marketing, Alexander, and current K-State Mortar Board president; and Amy Hoppock, senior in finance and marketing, Salina, and the chapter's 2008-09 membership chair.

Candice Hironaka, senior associate director of K-State's School of Leadership Studies and faculty adviser to Mortar Board, said the chapter's perennial excellence is because of its quality membership.

"Each year, K-State Mortar Board members are committed to excellence across many interests, are actively engaged in their community, and truly enjoy the relationships they form during their time together. This is the chemistry for a continually exceptional chapter year after year," Hironaka said.

Baus said this year's members will be busy with several important projects.

"Mortar Board will be involved in some exciting events this year, including continuing our chapter's work with the state Academic Decathlon, our FirstBook book drive, Reading is Leading project, our scholarships for juniors, our annual faculty reception and many other events," she said. "We also will participate in the Service Day at Harvesters Community Food Network again."

Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. Since its founding in 1918, the organization has grown from four founding chapters to 227 chartered collegiate chapters with nearly a quarter of a million initiated members across the nation. The XIX chapter at Kansas State University was chartered in 1928 and currently has 27 members.

Mortar Board provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities, and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Some notable Mortar Board members include former President Jimmy Carter, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.