Considering applying for Mortar Board?

You are mulling a very special opportunity! As Senior Advisor to Tolo Chapter (and a Mortar Board alumna myself), I’d like to share some facts with you…

  • Mortar Board has an unrivaled history on campus, and it is one of the University of Washington’s great traditions. Not only is the UW’s Tolo Chapter of Mortar Board the oldest continuing honor society on campus, but its Mortar Board history is richly storied — a record which continues to grow with each class, including the Tolo Class of 2021. Take a moment to read Tolo’s history (under the tab “About“). You’ll find that from its very founding as Tolo Club in 1909, there is important purpose. Among Tolo accomplishments, you’ll learn Tolo members in 1910 originated the Tolo Dance (and simultaneously, the country’s very first first “reverse of the social order” dance where women asked men for the date) to create a much-needed student loan fund. The dance was so hugely successful that it continued for decades as a UW social highlight and was copied by high schools throughout the Northwest. Popular Tolo Dances continue to this day in most high schools.
  • Other significant Mortar Board/Tolo contributions abound. A prominent Tolo Chapter annual event is its “Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award.” Undergraduates throughout the campus nominate inspiring faculty who have gone exceptionally “above and beyond” their job descriptions in teaching undergraduates. From all the nominations, Tolo Chapter selects the recipient and presents the award to the professor at a faculty event.Mortar Board’s commitment to meaningful purpose is strong. Members raise funds for scholarships for deserving students, tutor, advance literacy, and participate in community service, among causes. Year after year, Tolo Chapter is regarded nationally as one of Mortar Board’s outstanding chapters.
  • Finally, Mortar Board as an honor society is a much deeper experience than simply receiving a certificate and pin. Mortar Board requires members’ commitment to serve during their active chapter year. In serving, members have the opportunity of forming friendships and teaming with other distinguished members from throughout the campus. A wonderful diversity of academic majors, leadership fields, interests, and individual backgrounds creates a rich Tolo class experience… and generations of excellence have resulted.

Might you be tapped for Mortar Board? Membership selection is a competitive, but very respectful process. I heartily recommend that you consider applying!

Warm wishes,
Margot Smith