Forum was recognized with the Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award.
Criteria include a well-tested sense of camaraderie among chapter members, a current chapter website, a significant all-campus project that involves at least 75 percent of members, an alumni event or newsletter, an excellent selection process, active adviser(s), visibility on campus, meaningful and established traditions and at least one Project Excellence application.
“This is the most prestigious honor Mortar Board can receive, so our members are very honored,” said Stacy Poteet, outgoing senior adviser to the university's chapter. “Texas Tech has been very deserving for many years. Since 1927 when Mary Doak founded Forum (predecessor to Mortar Board), Texas Tech Mortar Board members have been striving for this award. Our members have always lived the ideals of Mortar Board, and each year have continued past traditions, while also establishing new and innovative ideas.”
Poteet said when Texas Tech members accepted the award, they did so in honor of former chapter president Christopher Shulman, a 2014 graduate who died in 2016.
Texas Tech's chapter was honored in part for several annual events the organization holds.
- The chapter holds ‘Bark In the Park,' an annual event that allows individuals to bring their dog to a Texas Tech baseball game. At the event last year, the chapter recognized six faculty members and allowed them to throw the first pitch. Each was presented with a personalized Louisville Slugger miniature bat with their name inscribed. The money from ‘Bark in the Park' was used to buy Christmas presents for children at Children's Home of Lubbock, an organization dedicated to providing homes and support for at-risk children.
- The Texas Tech chapter also oversaw a complete redesign of the reading corner at Bayless Elementary School, creating a new reading space for students as well as several new books. The chapter raised funds through the President-for-a-Day raffle, which allowed students to buy tickets to win a chance to be president of the university for a day.
The Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award is the highest honor in chapter achievement, presented for superior chapter operations, participation, selection, advising, visibility and communications.
“I commend Stacy and the students for their work in the Lubbock community and commitment to outreach and service, which represents one of our institutional strategic priorities,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. “Our students make us proud every day with their devotion to serving the area community. The mortar board students are deserving of this prestigious recognition.”
Much of the Texas Tech chapter's success, both with the recent honor and since Forum became the 97th chapter to join National Mortar Board in 1957, has been because of a close relationship with advisers and the section coordinator. The group meets weekly and communicates often through email and phone. Advisers are included on all big picture decisions. Through their advisers, members are able to communicate with the Texas Tech administration, including the president of the university. Poteet assisted Treasurer Lyssa Bell in placing $26,000 into the Texas Tech Foundation for future generations of Mortar Board members.
“The support from the university as a whole is instrumental to an honor like this,” Poteet said. “From athletics to the president's office, it really takes everybody to achieve something of this magnitude.”
Texas Tech's chapter won 2017 Project Excellence and Gold Torch Award awards.
About Mortar Board
Mortar Board is a national honor society dedicated to bringing together the best and brightest seniors at the university level. Members are selected based on three pillars of scholarship, leadership and service that helps build a diverse and highly accomplished community of students.