“Mortar Board, Inc., as an honor society, is an association of individuals selected for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership and service, which recognizing the advantages of a national union of senior honor societies, has formed a national honor society, whose purpose shall be to facilitate cooperation among those societies, to contribute to the self-awareness of its members, to promote equal opportunities among all peoples, to emphasize the advancement of the status of women, to support the ideals of the college or university, to advance a spirit of scholarship, to recognize and encourage leadership, to provide service, and to establish the opportunity for a meaningful exchange of ideas as individuals and as a group.” (mortarboard.org)

The University of Mary Washington’s Cap and Gown chapter was formed from the stand-along society which was formed in 1994 under the sponsorship of Mrs. John C. Russell. This chapter officially joined Mortar Board, who aligned with the core values of scholarship, leadership and service in 1959 under the leadership of Mr. Russell and Mary Ellen Stephenson.  The 2017-2018 chapter currently has 17 members.