History of Alcalá Senior Honor Society

Chapter of Mortar Board

The Alcalá Senior Honor Society Chapter of Mortar Board was installed at USD on October 22, 2000.  Thirty members of the Alcalá Senior Honor Society were initiated as charter members of USD Mortar Board. University President, Dr. Alice B. Hayes, was initiated as the first Honorary Member.

USD Mortar Board Alcalá Chapter members agree upon certain community service projects to which they devote their time, energy, leadership and experience.  Each year, on Halloween, members read and perform funny and scary stories for children from the Linda Vista area.  In the past, members have been shadowed for a day by local Upward Bound students from Kearny High School.  Each year members fill backpacks with supplies, books and financial aid information for delivery to children from low-income families.  Mortar Board members have conducted book drives and blood drives and they have assisted in preparing and serving meals at local soup kitchens.

Members raise funds for the annual STRIVE scholarship, which stands for Seeking To Recognize Individual Visions of Excellence.  This scholarship is awarded each spring to at least two Kearny High School seniors who exemplify the Mortar Board ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service.  To raise funds for the scholarships and other Mortar Board efforts, members have sold Mortar Board calendars and USD binders on campus. They have also raised funds with Parking Space drawings.  More recently, they have conducted online fundraising for their Secret Family Recipes Cookbook.                                                                                          

Since the inception of Mortar Board at USD, the chapter has received a number of National awards.  The Alcalá Chapter has received the “Gold Torch Award” for twelve years; Chapter Advisor, Judith Lewis Logue, was awarded an “Excellence in Advising Award” in 2001 and an “Excellence in Advising, with Distinction” in 2012. The Alcalá Chapter has received a “Project of Excellence Award” for the STRIVE Scholarship, the USD Mortar Board 2004 Wall Calendar, the Halloween “Reading is Leading” Project, the USD 2007 Poster Calendar, the 2008 USD Mortar Board Blood Drive, the USD Mortar Board Parking Space Fundraiser 2009, the USD Mortar Board Lecture Series 2010, the USD Mortar Board Last Lecture Series 2011, “I Can Go to College Too” program 2012, the STRIVE Scholarship 2013, the Linda Vista Outreach Program in 2014. For 2015, the “Best Kept Secrets” Fundraiser, the Linda Vista Outreach Program, Recognition of Therese Whitcomb, (the first graduate of USD), and Support for America’s first Red Nose Day Campaign.  The USD Mortar Board website has received two awards.  In 2006 the Alcala Chapter of Mortar Board received the Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award.  Each year at the National Mortar Board Conference, the honor is awarded to the Best Chapter in the Nation.