Alicia Notestone
Mortar Board National Office communications coordinator, 800.989.6266

The Xi Phi chapter of Mortar Board at the University of Nebraska Kearney was recently presented the Golden Torch Award and two Project Excellence Awards for the 2005-2006 academic year at the Mortar Board national conference held in Columbus, Ohio.

The UNK chapter was one of only 19 chapters to take home the Golden Torch Award. According to Alicia Notestone, communications coordinator for the Mortar Board National Office, the Golden Torch Award is “presented to chapters going above and beyond timeliness and excellence while exemplifying the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service.”

The other honor that the UNK Mortar Board chapter received, the Project Excellence Awards, was presented to only 27 chapters. UNK chapter members were presented Project Excellence Awards for their projects, “Reading to Those Who Read to Us,” a program with area nursing homes, and “A Book of My Own,” for foster children and their foster parents.

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 the four founding chapters to 214 collegiate and 43 alumni chapters with more than 240,000 initiated members across the nation.

Notable Mortar Board members include former President Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Lance Armstrong and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

The Xi Phi chapter of Mortar Board at UNK was chartered in 1998. The faculty adviser for the UNK chapter is Dr. Kenya Taylor, dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

Mortar Board officers at UNK for the 2005-2006 academic year, which is when the awards were earned, are listed below by their respective offices:

President: Abby Simpson of Orleans
Vice President: Jessica McCune of Sutherland
Secretary: Megan Nelson of North Platte
Treasurer: Elizabeth Obermeier of Aurora
Selections Chair: Alisha Nabity of Lincoln
Alumni Chair: Laura Bradshaw of Kearney
Director of Communications: Matthew Breitkreutz of Burwell
Co-Director of Communications: Brette Covington of North Platte
Historian: Jessica Isaac of Kearney.