Mortar Board earns national excellence award for 2nd time

Sinclair Portis
Staff Writer

The Troy University Spires Chapter of Mortar Board has been selected as the Gold Torch recipient for the second time in the school’s history.
According to Troy’s website, “Mortar Board is an honor society which recognizes distinguished college seniors for achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service. The Society proposes to support the ideas of the University, to promote equality among all people, to advance the spirit of scholarship, to encourage leadership, and to provide service to the campus and the community of which it is a part.”
The Gold Torch is an award given to chapters that go above and beyond expectations by “exemplifying scholarships, leadership and service.”
According to Alina Penjiyeva, adviser of the Spires Chapter, only 10 percent of seniors who have maintained an overall 3.2 GPA and have earned 90 credit hours are selected.
“You have to be involved on campus, maintain a high GPA, volunteer and be a leader,” Penjiyeva said.
From these students, applications are submitted and 45 students are selected.
The Spires Chapter was selected out of 36 universities in the nation to win the Gold Torch. This is the school’s second time winning the Golden Torch, but it has previously won the Silver Torch twice.
“Winning the Gold Torch Award was super exciting,” said Ashley Lynn, an economics and mathematics double major from Ashford and senior president of the Spires Chapter. “It gave me an even bigger sense of pride for how great Troy University is.
“It also made me realize the standards are high for our organization, and they should only get higher each year.”
Mortar Board requires members to excel in all areas, including academics, campus involvement and service.
“Being selected as a member is a huge honor and is something all students should strive for,” Lynn said.
Mortar Board is involved on and off campus with many opportunities for its members to stay involved and help their community. While they are best known for their flower sales at graduation, they plan to participate in a diversity of campus activities this year.
“We will have a stand at Palladium Madness on Oct. 7 and also plan on partnering with the Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary and help them come to campus this semester,” Lynn said.
In terms of off-campus activities, the chapter hopes to volunteer with Precious Paws as well as partner with Pike County’s Child’s Advocacy Center this Christmas.
“Our president has received numerous ideas for this year,” said Penjiyeva. “We cannot wait to execute them and have a very active year.”

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