Mortar Board Honor Society at USD honored with national award

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota’s Keystone chapter of Mortar Board Honor Society received the Most Improved Chapter Award at the Mortar Board National Conference in Atlanta last month. Chapter President Cassie Bartlett of Sioux Falls, S.D. was present to accept the award.

The Most Improved Chapter Award recognizes the Keystone’s chapter improved campus involvement, selection process, and leadership structure. During the 2012-13 academic year, the student organization hosted nine events, including its Trick or Trot 5K with book donations and proceeds donated to the Vermillion community. The Society also sold roses during Valentine’s Day in support of USD’s Dance Marathon and Mortar Board’s national philanthropy, “Reading Is Leading.”

“Winning the Most Improved Chapter is one of the highest honors our chapter could receive and it’s a symbol of all the hard work this chapter put in,” stated Wade Wilkinson of Sioux Falls, S.D., former chapter president. “We worked as hard as we could to change the culture here and I believe we did that, just as this award symbolizes. I’m just thankful we had chapter members who were willing to put in the work to make us deserving of the award.”

Mortar Board is a National Honor Society recognizing seniors for their outstanding scholarship, leadership and service. Members are elected during the second semester of their junior year through an application process. Students must have shown substantial campus leadership and at least a 3.2 GPA. Mortar Board selects up to 35 new members each year.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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