About Mortar Board at Purdue University
Mortar Board, upon its founding at Syracuse University in 1918, became the first national organization honoring senior college women. In the Fall of 1926, the Purdue Chapter of Mortar Board was chartered and since that time has grown to preeminence in the national organization, which claims 226 college chapters. Mortar Board remained a society for senior women until 1975 when men were permitted to be selected to its prestigious ranks.
Mortar Board members are selected for their superior scholarship, dedicated service to the university community, and outstanding and constant leadership. Mortar Board can be found assisting special university leaders, holding a leadership conference, backing intercollegiate athletics, and honoring staff members who are especially supportive of students. The YWCA Women's Shelter, Community and Family Resource Center , the Liberal Arts Learning Center, Span Plan, and University Day have all benefited from Mortar Board's financial assistance.
Over the past 62 years Mortar Board has given $851,000 in fellowships and awards to Purdue students, staff, and student organizations. The money for these fellowships and awards comes largely from the annual sales of the well-known calendar, appropriately named, the Mortar Board. The "Mortar Board" was first published in 1945 as the "Reminder Calendar." Thanks to the sale of roughly 30,000 calendars this year, Mortar Board will once again be able to present fellowships and awards to Purdue students, staff, and student organizations.
The Barbara Cook Chapter of Mortar Board is so named to honor retired Dean of Students Barbara Cook , who advised Mortar Board from 1956 to 1986. To honor Dean Cook, Mortar Board, along with friends and former students, donated a University marker which stands near the corner of Stadium and Northwestern Avenue.