We are the premier senior honor society on campus, comprised of students from all majors across the university. We exemplify the ideals of leadership, service, and scholarship.
Membership with Mortar Board is synonymous with dedication and success. Only a select few students on each campus are invited to join this esteemed society – an honor that places them among the most amazing college scholar-leaders in the United States.
Mortar Board members are not only recognized as the top scholars and leaders on campus, but are selected based on dedication to scholarship, leadership, and service to the campus and Pittsburgh community.
The Eta Chapter of Mortar Board was founded in 1923 at Carnegie Mellon University (then Carnegie Institute of Technology). Since that time our chapter has become the premier senior honor society at the university. Each year we invite the top students in each senior class to apply for membership. Students are chosen because they have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, and community service. We then extend membership to the top 50 applicants. As one of the oldest Mortar Board chapters in the country the Eta Chapter has a long standing tradition of serving our campus and surrounding community.
Before becoming a part of Mortar Board, Carnegie Mellon had a Senior women's honors society called "The Sphinx," which was created in 1922. This group was composed of 12 members from the Margaret Morrison Carnegie College and the College of Fine Arts. The members were chosen on the basis of activities, scholarship and personality. At this time, there were eight other honorary societies, but they were all for men. The Sphinx's purpose was to bring the girls of Margaret Morrison and CFA "into closer harmony and to promote new ideas and activities which further the interest of girls on the campus." Only a year after forming, the Sphinx joined Mortar Board as the Eta chapter.
Our chapter has steadily grown over the years, starting with 12 founding members; we now invite 50 new members to join each year. We continue to be a group that emphasizes leadership, scholarship, and service. Being an organization with 100% turnover each year allows for a constant flow of new ideas and the opportunity to pass inspiration down from class to class. The activities we do each year reflect the desires of the senior class, what they would do to benefit the community, and how they can best enhance our campus.