2011 Mortar Board National Conference Logo

One of the highlights of the national conference is the awarding of Mortar Board's prestigious national awards. Read more about the alumni members and collegiate chapters honored at the conference, below.

Congratulations to 2011 award recipients

Distinguished Lifetime Membership Awards
Betty Whitney Alderson
Janice Sheldon Baumback
Diane Miller Selby

Alumni Achievement Awards
Stephen B. Corn, M.D.
Melissa Page Ingwersen
Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D.

Excellence in Advising Award
Regina Simmons

Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award
The Agathai chapter at UCLA

Most Improved Chapter Award
The Alpha Order chapter at the University of South Carolina

Golden Torch Awards

Silver Torch Awards

Project Excellence Awards

Distinguished Lifetime Membership Award
The Distinguished Lifetime Membership Award is presented to exceptional Mortar Board alumni who have made a lifelong devotion to Mortar Board’s ideals of scholarship, leadership and service. Honorees have retained connections or contact with Mortar Board and have demonstrated outstanding service to the global community.

Betty Alderson accepts award
Betty Whitney Alderson accepts her award from Mortar Board National President Dan Turner.

Betty Whitney Alderson, heart and soul of Mortar Board(University of Kansas, Torch chapter, 1945; Lawrence, Kansas Alumni Chapter)
Betty Whitney Alderson engenders the admiration of all who know her — and that’s a lot of people. Our Society’s ideals are her guideposts for a lifetime of leadership in her community. She was first elected president of the alumnae in Lawrence in 1954 and since then has held so many roles, she can’t keep track of them all — except that everyone knows that she was, in her meticulous and kind way, treasurer of the group for 31 years. She hosted the Torch chapter’s annual tapping breakfast in her home for nearly 50 years, and her home was also the site of a Saturday morning alum coffee every fall. She also served Mortar Board nationally as a section coordinator. Girl Scouting, the YWCA, the PTA and Sigma Kappa Sorority are all part of her lifetime of volunteer service, and she has a special interest in the Lawrence Preservation Alliance and the Historic Mount Oread Fund, which preserve the history and historic structures in the city and on campus. Professionally, Betty is a pharmacist, and she worked part time until the mid 90s. Mortar Board honors Betty Whitney Alderson, the “glue” that bonds Mortar Board’s past and present, mainstay of the Torch chapter, and exemplar of a lifetime of service our Society.

Read the full media release.


Janice Sheldon Baumback with her award
Janice Sheldon Baumback with her award.

Janice Sheldon Baumback, M.S.W., joyful philanthropist(University of Washington, Tolo chapter, 1943; Iowa City Alumni Chapter)
Janice Sheldon Baumback calls her selection to Mortar Board one of the most gratifying honors she has ever received. Mortar Board’s ideals of scholarship, leadership and service are a driving force in her life. After earning her advanced degree in her 40s, Janice became a social work specialist in the University of Iowa Department of Child Psychiatry. She has served for more than two decades on the board of Four Oaks, the largest social agency in Iowa. She organized the first Book and Bake Sale at First Presbyterian Church, in its tenth year, and the Cookie Walk, in its 24th year; and together these events have raised $100,000 for human service programs. Janice is secretary of The Friends of Pasrur, is a small group of women of the church who have raised more than $250,000 for a school in Pakistan that reaches 500 children. An avid supporter of the University of Iowa Foundation, Janice has also has been loyal to Alpha Xi Delta -- as president of three alumnae chapters, advisor to two collegiate chapters, treasurer of the building corporation, province vice president, and trustee of the national foundation. She was president of her Mortar Board alumni chapter and was advisor to the University of Oklahoma’s Owl and Triangle chapter. Three endowed scholarship funds exist because of her generosity. Mortar Board honors Janice Sheldon Baumback, philanthropist, community organizer, and champion of future generations.

Read the full media release.


Diane Miller Selby accepts her award
Diane Miller Selby accepts her award from Mortar Board National President Dan Turner.

Diane Miller Selby, resourceful servant-leader
(The Ohio State University, Mabel G. Freeman chapter, 1961; Columbus, Ohio Alumni Chapter)
Few have given more to Mortar Board than Diane Miller Selby. Yes, she was the Society’s executive director for 20 years … and her gifts of time, talent and treasure were always beyond her pay grade. Diane demonstrates a boundless love for the Society, and there is probably not a day that passes when she is not doing something for Mortar Board. Diane has been president of the Columbus alumni chapter on two occasions and served on its board for years, accepting with good cheer the role as the nominator of other members for national awards. She advised the Mabel G. Freeman chapter. She is on the OSU chapter’s Alumni Council. She is on the Historical Publication Committee that is writing the Society’s centennial history.

Diane’s volunteer work outside of Mortar Board has touched thousands of citizens in Central Ohio. She is a founding member of two community service boards, has served as officer on four other local boards, twice been president of Twig, the hospital service organization, chaired the board of the Kelton House Museum and Gardens, and held a variety of indispensable offices in the Junior League. A PTA president four times, she also was president of the band boosters. She advised two different chapters of Kappa Kappa Gamma, been vice president of the house corporation, president of the alumnae chapter, vice president of the Heritage Museum Guild, and province director. She now also is a leader in The Ohio State University Retirees’ Association. Her fine hand can be seen guiding much of what happens in Columbus. For her limitless service, her cheerful devotion to the Society, and her unequalled leadership, Mortar Board honors Diane Miller Selby. 

Read the full media release.

Mortar Board

Alumni Achievement Award
The Alumni Achievement Award is conferred annually upon extraordinary Mortar Board alumni who are outstanding in their professional lives, representing Mortar Board’s commitment to the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service. Honorees serve as remarkable role models and are selected by a group of their peers, who consider contributions at the local, national and international communities.

Dr. Stephen B. Corn
Stephen B. Corn, M.D.

Stephen B. Corn, M.D., champion of healthcare, clinical innovator, inventor, mentor
(Boston University, Cap & Gown chapter, 1981)
Steve Corn’s work has a worldwide positive impact on medical education. Innovation is in his psyche; entrepreneurial confidence reigns over his 25-year career. As a professor at Harvard Medical School, Steve finds true enjoyment. As he has been mentored, so he mentors others. A clinician of the highest order with the utmost concern for patient care, he is quick to see a lack of devices that health care workers and patients need. When he can’t buy the equipment, he creates it. Among Steve’s inventions is the apnea monitor, the first noncontact system to monitor breathing that has far-reaching implications in the monitoring of newborns and others at risk of respiratory disorders. Steve co-invented the Safety Indexed Medical System known as “CorrectInject,” which is designed to ensure that the correct medication, in the proper doses, is delivered to patients.  His online educational tool, TheAnswerPage.com, was ranked one of the top medical websites by the American Medical Association. Steve holds more than two dozen patents.

Read the full media release.


Melissa Page Ingwersen
Melissa Page Ingwersen

Melissa Page Ingwersen, coalition builder, community leader, corporate banker
(Northwestern University ,1981; Columbus, Ohio, Alumni Chapter)
Having spent her entire career in corporate banking, Melissa Ingwersen is a leader who exemplifies values and ethics and who knows her community from the inside out. She was president of central Ohio’s largest employer, J. P. Morgan Chase Bank, and parlayed the power of her position to build coalitions through her natural genuine style. Her commitment to community has put her in the position of chairing a statewide task force on quality high schools, and serving as president of the Columbus, Ohio, YWCA; Chamber of Commerce; and the Board of Trustees of Franklin University. This list of her memberships on community boards is long, and the list of her gifts to the community from her personal resources and those of her company is longer. In January 2011 Melissa was hired away from Chase to become the central Ohio president for the Cleveland-based KeyBank.

Read the full media release.


Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo
Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D.

Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D., worldwide educational leader, global entrepreneur
(Purdue University, Barbara Cook chapter, 1974)
Last summer Carolyn Woo logged 62,000 air travel miles on four continents – with repeat visits to several – in less than 100 days. From Uganda to Shanghai, the United Nations to Hong Kong and Australia, Carolyn talked with more than a dozen groups about a topic she finds increasingly urgent in shaping the global marketplace: business ethics. She has brought her “greater good” philosophy and compassionate world view into the mainstream of thinking, while leading the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame to its place atop the business schools of the world. Individual integrity, ethical systems and corporate citizenship are all topics of her popular lectures on campus – and around the globe. In the last three years, Carolyn has traveled with representatives from Catholic Relief Services to developing countries where conflict, poverty and deprivation rule. Again and again, from remote villages in Afghanistan to a Mombasa slum, she witnessed lives being changed through enterprise and education. She knows corporate responsibility first hand.

Read the full media release.

Mortar Board

Excellence in Advising Award
This celebrated distinction is presented to advisors who provide exceptional support to help the chapter achieve goals, serving as a role model and demonstrating constant leadership, professionalism and spirit of service.

Regina Simmons accepts her award
Regina Simmons accepts her award from Mortar Board National President Dan Turner

Regina Simmons, MBA
Rhodes College, Torch Chapter
Regina Simmons believes that Mortar Boards inspire those around them to “lead and serve in a bolder way.” She is a role model for inspiration. An exemplary administrator on campus, Regina cares about each member’s personal success. She sends members YouTube clips on leadership, recommend leadership readings and puts members in touch with alumni of the chapter for networking purposes. Her constant support allowed the officers to write and effect the chapter’s revision plan. Her vivid awareness of the Society helps them track progress in comparison with other chapters. Emails and notes of support to officers demonstrate her spirited positivism. Unwavering commitment characterizes her three years of service to the Torch chapter.

Read the full media release.

Chapter awards

Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award - The University of California, Los Angeles
Mortar Board’s highest national honor for a collegiate chapter is the Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award, presented to the nation’s most exceptional chapter. This chapter, chosen after a thorough nomination and selection process, must exemplify the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service in the most outstanding manner, clearly standing out as one of Mortar Board’s top collegiate chapters. The recipient is selected based on a variety of criteria, including chapter operations, campus visibility, member participation, advising, communications and chapter projects.

National President Dan Turner with UCLA representatives
Mortar Board National President Dan Turner, left, with UCLA representatives Maddie Schwarz and Vince Palladino.

The recipient of the 2011 Ruth Mount award embodies a tradition of chapter excellence.  The chapter has been a consistent Golden Torch award winner and has also previously been a finalist for this award.  But this year the chapter stood out from the rest.

Their scholarship endeavors were many, including the production of an academic journal, the campus datebook, a strong showing in the Virtual Book drive and countless local literacy projects.  The chapter also distributed scholarships to needy individuals and participated in a community effort to expose children to college at a young age.

The chapter was full of strong leaders this year, representing the best and brightest of this large campus.  They attended lectures by renowned speakers and leaders including former Democratic nominee for president Michael Dukakis, leadership seminars on topics such as diversity and social change, and stood out as leaders on their own campus.

Their service to the community was remarkable.  From Habitat for Humanity to cleaning up local parks and environments, from book drives to caring for animals, this chapter did it all.  But most of all, its service to alma mater was groundbreaking.  By being a leading organization on campus with such a stellar reputation, the chapter set itself apart from the pack.

The chapter consistently involved alumni in its events, held a fundraiser with another chapter in the city of Los Angeles and did a fabulous job of publicizing and sharing its accomplishments.  From videos to blogging, to appearing on the fall cover of the Mortar Board Forum, this chapter’s visibility knew no bounds.  They even drew commendations from both Governor Schwarzenegger and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles for their many achievements and contributions to the community.

It’s obvious that the love these Mortar Boards have for this organization is contagious. The chapter’s advisor says, “You are an amazing chapter and truly reflect what service to the community is all about. I’m humbled by your talents and honored to serve as your advisor.” 

Mortar Board congratulates the winner of this year’s Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award, the Agathai chapater at the University of California Los Angeles.

Read the full media release.

Mortar Board also honors the other finalists for this award:

  • Hope College
  • Kansas State University
  • Purdue University
  • San Diego State University

Mortar Board

Most Improved Chapter Award - University of South Carolina
The celebrated Most Improved Chapter Award is reserved to annually recognize a chapter that has achieved success during the year in re-establishing and re-invigorating programming and membership. The recipient of this award must first be nominated then is chosen by a committee for their success in the areas of chapter membership, operations, community service and visibility.

Catherine Kenimer, the incoming president of the Alpha Order chapter, accepts Mortar Board's Most Improved Chapter Award.

From the very beginning, the Alpha Order chapter at the University of South Carolina set out to make things better than how they had found them.  They began with a fall membership selection process, which is a rarity among Mortar Board chapters and only permitted when membership numbers fall below the required 15.  After completing this process, they more than doubled their membership to 31.  The chapter’s success carried them through to their spring membership selection, where they initiated 37 new members, representing the largest class they have had in some time.  This new class includes the student body president and vice president, as well as other leaders representing key campus leadership groups, as well as a diversity of backgrounds.

Their officer transition process was anchored by a dinner held at the advisor’s home that brought together outgoing and incoming officers to share best practices.  It also consisted of one on one meetings, exit interviews with the president, and a wealth of hard copy and electronic materials passed down to the new class.

The president made it her goal to enact a more responsible and professional structure to an executive board that had been lacking true leadership in previous years.  She coached each officer on his or her responsibilities, met frequently with individual officers and advisors, and made sure all reporting deadlines, even the optional ones, were met.  As a result, the chapter ran much more smoothly and was able to participate in great community events such as the Waverly Center Book Drive Program to help struggling youth.  They also had tremendous success with Mortar Board Week events, campus student involvement fairs, and using social media and the internet to get the word out about the chapter.

It is clear that this chapter is a shining example of the great success Mortar Board chapters can have when the leadership is committed.

Read the full media release.

Mortar Board

Golden Torch Award
This year, 22 chapters were honored with the Golden Torch Award, which is presented to outstanding chapters that are superb, timely and go above and beyond the minimum standards throughout the academic year, making tangible achievements on campus and in the community. Only a select amount of Golden Torch Award nominees are chosen to receive the award based on their devotion to Mortar Board’s three key ideals of scholarship, leadership and service.

University of Arizona
University of California, Los Angeles
Carson-Newman College
Colorado State University
Cornell College
Hope College
Kansas State University
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The University of Nebraska at Kearney
The University of New Mexico
University of North Dakota
Northern Michigan University

The Ohio State University
Purdue University
University of San Diego
San Diego State University
University of South Alabama
University of South Carolina
University of Southern California
University of Utah
University of Washington
Westminster College
William Jewell College
University of Wyoming

Mortar Board

Silver Torch Award
Following the 2010-2011 academic year, 84 outstanding chapters received the Silver Torch Award. This honor is presented to chapters executing timeliness and dedication while exemplifying the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service. Silver Torch Award recipients are selected based on a review of national records, requiring that the chapter meet all of the national minimum standards and deadlines.

The University of Akron
The University of Alabama
Augustana College
Ball State University
Baylor University
Bowling Green State University
Bradley University
Butler University
Chapman University
University of Cincinnati
Clemson University
Coe College
Denison University
The University of Denver
DePauw University
Drake University
Drury University
Endicott College
The University of Findlay
University of Florida
Florida State University
Fort Hays State University
Grinnell College
Grove City College
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Hood College
Idaho State University
Indiana University
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Iowa State University
James Madison University
Kent State University
Knox College
Lake Erie College
Lakeland College
Lawrence University
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Longwood University
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Louisiana State University
Lyon College
MacMurray College
University of Mary Washington

University of Maryland
The University of Miami
University of Minnesota Duluth University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Mississippi State University
University of Missouri - Columbia University of Missouri - Kansas City Monmouth College
University of Montana
Montana State University
North Dakota State University
The University of Northern Colorado Northern Illinois University
Occidental College
Ohio Northern University
Ohio University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Oklahoma Baptist University Oklahoma State University
Otterbein University
University of Oregon
University of the Pacific
University of Puget Sound
Queens University of Charlotte
University of Redlands
Rhodes College
University of Richmond
Seattle Pacific University
University of South Florida
Stephens College
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
University of Tennessee at Knoxville Texas Wesleyan University
The University of Toledo
Troy University
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire West Texas A & M University
West Virginia University
Wichita State University
Willamette University

Mortar Board

Project Excellence Award
Twenty groups received a total of 63 Project Excellence Awards, granted by a selection committee to chapters with notable projects in the areas of:  scholarship, leadership, fundraising, service, the “Reading is Leading” national project, alumni involvement or Mortar Board Week.

University of South Carolina Excellence in Teaching Awards Ceremony
Florida State University St. Baldrick's
University of South Alabama Mortar Board "Reading is Leading" Scholarship
Carson-Newman College B.O.O.S.T. Fundraising
University of Tennessee at
PenPal Project with East Tennessee Children's Hospital
The University of Findlay David Coleman: The Dating Doctor
Hope College CASA Pumpkin carving, Stocking stuffing
Tutoring and Border Gift Cards
President for a Day
Tanzanian Scholarship Project
First Book Virtual Book Drive
Invisible Children Legacy Scholarship
Dance Marathon
Disability Prom
Kiva Project
Fall Retreat and Spring Dinner at the College President's Home
Last Lecture Series
Mortar Board Week and Visibility Project
Marshmallow Throwers
The University of Nebraska - Kearney Give Love - Give Books!
UNK Honors Convocation
Seeing Is Reading
Faculty Appreciation Dinner
University of North Dakota Turkey Basket Drive
Cornell College Annual Mortar Board Auction
First Book Fundraiser/ Book Drive
William Jewell College Reading is Leading Book Drive Competition
San Diego State University Emeritus Faculty and Staff Outstanding Service Awards Ceremony and Brunch
Faculty/ Staff Appreciation Dinner
Honors Council
Last Lecture Series
Alumni Relations
Mortar Board Planner/Calendar of Events
Backpack Stuffing
Students Supporting Special Education Walk
University of San Diego Mortar Board Lecture Series
The University of Denver Alumni Dinner
University of Utah HOPE Kids Event
Wichita State University Adams Elementary "Reading is Leading"
Kansas State University    Wild About Reading
Section 22 Garden of the Gods Section Project
Texas Wesleyan University Big Brothers Big Sisters Fundraiser
University of California, Los Angeles Annual Academic Fair
Academic Planner & Calendar of UCLA Events
Agathai Quarterly Journal
Finals Care Packages
Mortar Board at UCLA Builds a Stronger Community with Habitat for Humanity
UCLA-USC Cross-Town Show-Down Book Drive
Project Read
Mortar Board Scholarship Program
Valentines for Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children
Annual Chapter Retreat
Nothin’ But Sand Venice Beach Cleanup with Heal the Bay
Leadership and Politics: Governor Michael Dukakis
Leadership Development Seminars
Mortar Board at UCLA Stands Up to Cancer!
Project Afghani-Dan
Reading to Kids
Hollywood TV Taping Fundraiser
UNICEF’s The TAP Project
Virtual Book Drive at UCLA
Waiting for 'Superman' and DonorsChoose.org


Recap from the 2010 Mortar Board National Conference, July 23 - 25, 2010








Nationwide Insurance

Member links
Sign up to receive Mortar Board e-newsletters
Update your address or contact information
PayMembership Fees
Chapter links
Chapter Resources
Log in to your chapter's Mortar Board Google acount
Mortar Board Mortar Board
Join the 2011 Mortar Board National Conference Facebook group. Mortar Board
Become a fan of Mortar Board on Facebook Mortar Board


Connect with Mortar Board

Mortar Board on Facebook Mortar Board on LinkedIn Mortar Board on Twitter Mortar Board on YouTube Pinterest

Support Mortar Board

About Mortar Board | Benefits | News | Chapter Resources | Students | Alumni | National Conference | Mortar Board Store
Contact Us
| Employment
Governing Documents | Privacy Policy | Annual Report | Contact the Web master | © 2007-2010 Mortar Board
Blogger | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube
Mortar Board National Office | 1200 Chambers Road, Suite 201 | Columbus, Ohio 43212 | 614-488-4094 or 800-989-6266 | mortarboard@mortarboard.org