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News & Events


NBC 4 Reports on 108th Class's "Reading is Leading" Work

In April 2022, NBC4 in Columbus reported on the "Reading is Leading" service project, in which the 108th class collected over a thousand books! VP for Service Ryleigh Beckett said, “We decided [to] collect books for a local elementary school...and then we’re also donating to two different domestic violence shelters.”


The full report can be viewed at

Ohio State President, Provost, and Dean of Public Health Tapped as Honorary Members of 109th Class

In February 2022, the 108th class tapped members of the incoming 109th class, including three notable leaders at The Ohio State University -- President Kristina Johnson, Provost Melissa Gilliam, and Dean of Public Health Amy Fairchild. Congratulations to all and welcome to Mortar Board!

108th Class Begins Year with Star-Studded Weekend

The 108th class had an eventful kick-off retreat the weekend of August 28-29, 2021. With numerous Mortar Boards in town for the Greater Columbus Mortar Board Alumni Chapter centennial celebration, the 108th assembled a star-studded panel for their gathering, including Ohio State Mortar Board alumni like new executive director Dr. Kirsten Fox, former national presidents Dr. Mabel Freeman and Gail Corvette, and Alumni Council president Barbie Tootle.  Chapter vice president Sakthi Senthilvelan led the panel discussion.

107th Class Receives Gold Torch Award

Congratulations to the 107th class on being recognized as a Gold Torch Award winner at the Mortar Board Awards Show on June 13th.  The chapter was also honored with two Project Excellence Awards and was shortlisted for the Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award.  Well done, 107th!

In memory of Dr. Cheria Dial

The Ohio State University and Mortar Board communities mourn the passing of Dr. Cheria V. Dial on May 25, 2021.  Cheria was initiated as an honorary Mortar Board member in 2002, received an Ohio State Distinguished Staff Award in 2009, and shortly before her passing earned her Ph.D. on honors student engagement, connected to her role as a professional staff member at The Ohio State University Honors & Scholars Center.

She was a university treasure, whether as a bridge-builder, colleague, mentor or friend.  We miss her dearly.  Rest in peace, Cheria.

Barbie Tootle Receives Alumni Achievement Award at Mortar Board National Conference

During the Alumni Council's virtual meeting on May 28, 2020, president Barbie Tootle was surprised with news that she would receive the 2020 Alumni Achievement Award at the National Conference for her extraordinary career and service to Ohio State and Mortar Board.  Tootle helped kick off the virtual National Conference on August 8 with her enthusiastic keynote speech on "Living a Mortar Board Life" as she accepted the award.  Congratulations, Barbie!

106th Class of Mortar Board at Ohio State Receives Gold Torch Award

Among the highlights of the 2020 Mortar Board National Conference was recognizing the Mabel G. Freeman chapter at Ohio State as a Gold Torch Award winner.  Congratulations to the members of the 106th class!

Mortar Board and Sphinx Host Annual Faculty & Staff Event

Mortar Board and Sphinx continued a great Ohio State University tradition by jointly hosting their annual Faculty and Staff Recognition and Reception on February 17, 2020.  Alex Martin (VP Communication) served as one of two emcees for the evening, and honorary Mortar Board and Provost Bruce McPherson offered welcome remarks.  Visit our Facebook page to see more photos from this wonderful event.

MoB 106 Faculty and Staff Reception.jpg
Barb Doster Recognized as Emeritus Council Member

On January 7, 2020, Alumni Council members and friends gathered at the Mortar Board National Office to visit with and celebrate the contributions of Barbara Doster -- a long-time Council member and Council president for the Ohio State chapter's centennial in 2014.  Current president Barbie Tootle presented Doster with a certificate recognizing her as an Emeritus council member.

Kitty Kisker Receives Ohio State Distinguished Service Award

At the Fall 2019 Commencement, Kitty Kisker was recognized by The Ohio State University with the Distinguished Service Award for her five decades of service as a student, faculty member, and administrator. She is a member of the University’s Alumni Advisory Council and a long-time member of the Ohio State Mortar Board Alumni Council. Kitty is shown here with University President Michael Drake. Congratulations, Kitty!

Mabel Freeman Honored at Mortar Board National Conference

On Saturday, August 3, 2019 at the Mortar Board National Conference held in Little Rock, Arkansas, Mabel Freeman was presented with the Distinguished Lifetime Membership Award.  The namesake for the Ohio State chapter of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and a model of service & leadership, Mabel was cheered by friends from across the country.  Congratulations!

Last Lecture with Urban Meyer

The outgoing 105th class and the incoming 106th class hosted assistant athletic director and former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer for a "Last Lecture" on March 6, 2019 at Pomerene Hall.  Meyer shared anecdotes and lessons learned on education and motivation, both inside and outside the world of football.

In memory of Rich Hollingsworth

The Ohio State and Mortar Board communities mourn the passing of Richard Hollingsworth on December 24, 2018. Rich was a Mortar Board chapter adviser for 12 years and was named a Centennial Torchbearer at the 2014 Centennial celebration. He taught and mentored so many in a 35-year career in Student Life at Ohio State, and his booming voice welcomed students at Convocation and Commencement.

Thanks, Rich.

100 Years of National Mortar Board

The Mortar Board National Conference and Centennial Celebration was held August 3-5, 2018, in Columbus, OH.  Events included:

  • Pre-conference tours, including visits to Ohio Union, Ohio Stadium, and Mortar Board Centennial Suite in Thompson Library

  • Alumni Summit with presentations on health care and the future of honor societies

  • National Citation Luncheon with keynote speaker Bryan Stevenson, author of "Just Mercy"

  • Reception at and tours of the Ohio Statehouse

  • Candlelight Banquet

Many Ohio State Mortar Board Alumni Council members volunteered to make the National Conference and Centennial Celebration a rounding success.  Thank you!
Mabel Freeman Honored by Ohio State

Mabel Freeman received the Distinguished Service Award at the December 20, 2015 Ohio State Commencement from President Michael Drake. This prestigious award recognizes exceptional service to the university in both official and unofficial capacities.

Mabel was saluted for her “pivotal role in the lives of a generation of Ohio State graduates”  as Assistant Vice President for Under-graduate Admissions and the First Year Experience and earlier with the University Honors and Scholars Program. Mabel was a valuable mentor to hundreds of student leaders. A 1965 Mortar Board initiate, she is a former National President of Mortar Board. The OSU chapter is named in her honor.

Mortar Board Named Rhodes Scholar


Congratulations to Ilhan Dahir on being named a Rhodes Scholar. Ilhan was initiated in 2014, our centennial year, and was a leader in the chapter. She received her degree magna cum laude with honors in English and political science in 2015. This year, she is teaching English in Turkey on a Fulbright grant. Ilhan was selected by the Rhodes Trust for her commitment to the empowerment of refugee communities around the world.

Click here to read a press release from Ohio State about her extraordinary accomplishments.

100 Years of Mortar Board at Ohio State University


The Centennial Celebration was held April 4-5, 2014. Events included

  • 101st Class Pre-Initiation Family Reception

  • 101st Class Initiation Ceremony

  • Reception for Donors to the Mortar Board Centennial Suite

  • Class Reunions at Longaberger Alumni House

  • Celebration of Leadership & Service Brunch

  • Centennial Gala Banquet



Upcoming Events


September 11, 2023

Mortar Board Alumni Council meeting

October 6-7, 2023

Tootle Celebration at Ohio State Homecoming

Jan/Feb 2024, TBD

Mortar Board Alumni Council meeting

March 23, 2024

111th Class Initiation

Newsletter Archive

Click on an issue to view the complete PDF version.

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