Berea College Mortar Board Chapter Receives National Awards

The Alpha Sigma Chi chapter at Berea College was among the outstanding Mortar Board chapters to be honored at the 2012 Mortar Board National Conference, held in Chicago in late July.

The Alpha Sigma Chi chapter was a recipient of the Silver Torch Award. This honor is presented to chapters executing timeliness and dedication while exemplifying the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service. Silver Torch Award recipients are selected based on a review of national records, requiring that the chapter meet all of the national minimum standards and deadlines.

They were also one of the 19 chapters that received a Project Excellence Award, granted for notable achievement in scholarship, leadership, service, fundraising, the “Reading is Leading” national project, alumni involvement or Mortar Board week. The Alpha Sigma Chi chapter earned this recognition for two of its projects: the “Appalachian Ball” and a toiletry drive for the New Opportunity School for Women.

Chapter president Catherine M. Beechie was present to accept the chapter’s awards.

Mortar Board is the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. Since its founding in 1918, the Society has grown from four to 229 chartered collegiate chapters with more than a quarter-million members across the nation. The Alpha Sigma Chi chapter at Berea College was chartered in 1973 and currently has 31 members.

Mortar Board provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Some notable Mortar Board members include pioneering engineer Lillian Gilbreth, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Emmy-winning actor Rue McClanahan, astronauts Judith Resnik and Janice Voss, adventurer Aron Ralston and lifestyle expert Bruce Littlefield. Learn more about Mortar Board at

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Tags: Alpha Sigma Chi, Award, Conference, mortar board

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.