UM Honor Chapter Wins Gold Torch, Project Excellence Award

November 22, 2017

 MISSOULA – The Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society again presented the University of Montana’s Penetralia chapter with its coveted Gold Torch award and Project Excellence Award.

The annual Gold Torch award celebrates chapters that excel in scholarship, leadership and meaningful service to their institutions. The Penetralia chapter was one of 37 to earn the distinction and has won the award four times.

The Project Excellence Award recognizes chapters with high member participation in events and activities. The Penetralia chapter received the Project Excellence Award for its fundraising efforts during the 2016-17 academic year, which raised a total of $2,000 at six events. The funds went to scholarship, leadership and service events benefiting the UM and Missoula communities. The chapter has won the Project Excellence Award three times.

“The Penetralia chapter is an extremely active and exemplary senior honor society,” said Chelsey Porter, co-adviser for the student group. “The group facilitated 18 events during the 2016-17 academic year, including two ‘Reading is Leading’ projects, the Last Lecture Series and the 30th Annual President’s Outstanding Senior Recognition Ceremony.”

UM chapter President Katherine Berglund accepted the award at the society’s national conference in Phoenix this fall. 

UM’s Penetralia chapter was founded as a secret society on April 1, 1904, and its name, which means “the innermost parts, such as the sanctuary of a temple,” emphasized loyalty to the University and symbolized the goals of the group. It became a part of the national Mortar Board honor society in 1927.

Mortar Board is the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for their outstanding achievements in scholarship, leadership and service. Since its founding in 1918, more than a quarter of a million members have joined 232 chartered chapters across the country. Members include numerous industry leaders, university presidents, best-selling authors, professional athletes, award-winning actors and top government officials.

Currently, UM’s Penetralia chapter seeks to connect with Mortar Board alumni from its chapter, as well as other national chapters, to build an adviser cohort and invite alumni to upcoming events. Those interested should email Porter at

For more information on the national Mortar Board society, visit For more information on the Penetralia chapter, visit and


Contact: Chelsey Porter, UM Mortar Board co-adviser, 406-243-2831,