The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Mortar Board names top 10 sophomores

Students honored for grades, leadership

SMU faculty and family members gathered in the Texana Room of the DeGolyer library Wednesday to watch 10 students receive the Mortar Board Top 10 Sophomore Award.

The award recipients were students who exemplified academic excellence, dedication to community service and exceptional leadership during their first two semesters at SMU.

The Associate Director of Student Affairs and former Mortar Board advisor Arlene Manthey was the keynote speaker.

Award recipients and family listened carefully as she congratulated the top 10, and encouraged them to continue to explore new opportunities.

“Perhaps we have only seen the tip of the ice burg in your potential,” Manthey said. “You still have so much more to do and more to learn.”

Manthey reminded the top 10 that this award was a great honor, as senior Mortar Board members were the ones who chose them.

Sophomores are invited to apply based on GPA, but senior Mortar Board members pay large attention to faculty recommendations and resumes during their selection.

Manthey explained that this peer evaluation added great prestige to the award.

“They know what it takes to excel as you have in your first semesters here,” Manthey said. “But today, they honor you.”

The Mortar Board is a premier national honor society that has a long legacy at SMU.

The national organization was founded at Cornell in 1918.

At SMU, it is the oldest honor society on campus, having its origins in a small organization of four women in 1915.

In 1932, the all female organization merged with the Mortar Board society to become the SMU chapter it is today.

Since then, the Mortar Board has recognized students that display not only academic excellence, but dedication in fields such as service and leadership as well.

By receiving this award, these ten sophomores are automatically allowed to become a Mortar Board member once they reach junior year status.

This is a great advantage because being a member of the Mortar Board provides academic recognition, alumni networking and opportunities for fellowships.

Traditionally, the Mortar Board recognizes seniors. However, during her time as Mortar Board advisor, Manthey created the Top 10 Sophomore Awards to recognize future leaders who already have shown the same qualities expected in senior members.

“It was a humbling experience.” Sarah Jaffar, member of the Top 10 committee, said. “These amazing sophomores, they truly are the future of SMU and society today.”

Each was smiling with pride as their names were called along with a list of their credentials.

Many of the top 10 are involved in campus organizations such as Mustang Heroes, Best Buddies and intramurals.

The Mortar Board Top 10 Sophomore award is highly selective and represents some of the most accomplished people on SMU’s campus.

“I feel so blessed to have been selected to be a Mortar Board Scholar and to have met such wonderful people,” Oliver Filutowski said.

“Being mentioned along with the other sophomores was an honor I don’t know I deserved. They are of the highest caliber and will achieve excellence in anything they pursue.”

These 10 individuals are given this award to recognize that during their first two semesters they have truly exemplified SMU’s mission statement and excelled in academics, service and leadership.

As Manthey ended her speech, she reminded the Top 10 “to whom much is given, much is expected.” 

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