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K-State Today

April 17, 2018

Houghton receives Brown ATO Mortar Board scholarship

Submitted by Division of Communications and Marketing

James K. Houghton, a graduating senior majoring in medical biochemistry and biology, McPherson, was presented the annual Michael E. Brown Alpha Tau Omega Mortar Board Leadership Scholarship at both the Mortar Board 100th Anniversary Celebration on April 7, and at chapter meeting on April 15. The scholarship award is $1,000. Houghton is the 10th recipient of the scholarship.

Houghton has been involved in various campus activities and programs and will graduate cum laude. He became Mortar Board president when the incumbent had to resign and served admirably. Houghton has served the university as a teaching assistant for immunology and human body in the Division of Biology; as an executive board member of the College of Arts and Sciences Student Ambassadors and an undergraduate research assistant, and Via Christi Hospital as a volunteer and now as pharmacy technician.

One Mortar Board advisor wrote, "James is an outstanding leader who assumed office at a critical time and led Mortar Board with dedication and excellence. I have been impressed with James' ability to include others. He is a constant source of inspiration and support for others."

The Brown Scholarship, donated by William L. "Bill" Muir through the Kansas State Alpha Tau Omega Students' Aid Endowment Fund, was established in 2009 to honor Michael E. 'Mike' Brown and "to provide educational opportunities and assistance for upper-level students who possess exemplary attributes in leadership, scholarship, fellowship and character." 

The Brown Mortar Board Scholarship is awarded by the Kansas State ATO Endowment Fund to a qualified student at Kansas State University who is a member of Mortar Board and attains at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, who is judged to be of good character and sound academic standing and who has substantially contributed to the quality of student life and outstanding leadership at K-State. The scholarship shall be awarded annually to a member(s) of Mortar Board.

"We are very pleased to be able to offer this scholarship to outstanding Mortar Board members who are involved in university leadership activities and programs," said Pat Bosco, K-State's vice president for student life and dean of students. "Special thanks to the local Alpha Tau Omega Endowment Fund and Bill Muir for making this scholarship a reality and congratulations to James Houghton on being the 10th scholarship recipient."

Houghton was selected for the honor by a three-person committee: Muir, representing the Kansas State ATO Endowment Fund; Emily Lehning, K-State associate dean of student life; and Mary Hale Tolar, director of the Staley School of Leadership Studies. 

"We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to award this scholarship in honor of Mike Brown to an outstanding student like James Houghton," said Muir, who is president of the Kansas State Alpha Tau Omega Students' Aid Endowment Fund. "Mike has been involved with Kansas State University and its programs for more than 26 years. He was a member of both Mortar Board and Alpha Tau Omega. It is very appropriate that we honor his life of service with this scholarship."

"We are extremely proud to have this scholarship named after Mike Brown, who was Mortar Board advisor for more than 13 years," Tolar said. "James is an outstanding K-State student leader, and possesses good, all-around qualities that fit the criteria for this scholarship. I know that Mike is very proud of James and of this day."

A permanent plaque will be located in the School of Leadership Studies and an individual plaque was given to Houghton. Presenting the award were Muir, representing the Kansas State ATO Endowment Fund, Mike Brown — award namesake and former advisor currently living in Iowa — and Tolar.

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