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Eight outstanding women founded Ohio State Mortar Board by taking their idea directly to President William Oxley Thompson on June 14, 1914. They received his permission to select the first group of juniors before the founders graduated two days later.

In the fall of 1918, the national Mortar Board was formed by local women’s honor societies on four campuses, including Ohio State.  

Read Dr. Virginia Gordon’s history of the first 100 years of Mortar Board at Ohio State, which captures changes in the roles of women and the growth of the university through the activities and minutes of the chapter.  

Scroll down to learn more about Ohio State Mortar Board’s visionary founders below.

Mortar Board History

Mortar Board Founders

Lois Helen Barrington

Lois Barrington was active in the YWCA, serving on the cabinet for two years. She was a member of the Women’s  Council. As a Home Economics major, she was president of the Domestic Science Club. The Cosmopolitan Club, chartered in 1907, attracted international and domestic students with the purpose of increasing understanding. Lois was vice president of the club. She is from St. Mary’s, Ohio.


Rivé King Bowman

Rivé King Bowman was active in journalism. She was a member of Theta Sigma Phi women’s journalism society. She was a Lantern reporter and served as the paper’s Society Editor as a senior. She was a Senior Representative on the Makio.  Rivé was in the Browning Dramatic Society and secretary of Strollers theatrical group. She was in the Psychological Society. A member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Rivé was the Class Prophet. 


Helen Hayward

Helen Hayward was president of the Browning Society. This group presented plays in the Mirror Lake Hollow each spring, most often by Shakespeare. In Helen’s senior year they presented “Romeo and Juliet.” Helen was President of the Oxley Hall Student Government Association and on the Cabinet of the YWCA. She was a member of the Women’s Council and the Cosmopolitan Club. Helen was also a member of the Cosmopolitan Club. She is from Gallipolis.


Elizabeth Lawrence

Elizabeth Lawrence, known as “Betty,” is from Columbus. She was a Second Alto in  the Girls’ Glee Club. She was in Strollers, and in the Browning Dramatic Society.  She was on the Senior Invitation Committee. Elizabeth was Associate Editor of the Co-Ed Sundial, on the Lantern staff,  and in the Theta Sigma Phi women’s journalism society. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.


Frances C. McKinney

Frances McKinney is from Marietta, Ohio. She majored  in Home Economics. She was in the Browning Dramatic Society, Varsity ‘A” and on the Lantern staff. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta  Sorority.



Hazel Helen Pratt

From Delta, Ohio, Hazel Helen Pratt was Vice President of the Class her first two years. She was on the Makio Board and President of The Varsity “A” Association.  Helen is a member of the  Northwestern Ohio Club.  She became a physical education instructor at the University of Kansas.



Nanna Ruth Sharples

Nanna Ruth Sharples, known as “Nan,” was from Warsaw, Ohio.  She was Vice President of the Women’s Council.  A First Alto in the Girl’s Glee Club, she also served as Business Manager of the Glee Club for two years.  She was on the Makio Board and a member of the Browning Dramatic Society.  She was active in the Cosmopolitan Club.  Nan earned a degree in Home Economics.


Alice Ward DeLong

Alice Ward earned a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics.  She is from Sandusky.  She was a member of the Varsity “A” Association, the Domestic Science Club, the Junior Social Committee and the Senior Social Committee.  She was in the Girl’s Glee Club and Pi Beta Phi sorority.  She was President of the Women’s Council. 

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