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Mortar Board Society (Kedros Chapter) Records

Identifier: U404


Collection contains the records of the Kedros chapter of Mortar Board Society at the University of Denver, including the records of the active student chapter as well as the Denver alumnae group affiliated with that chapter. Mortar Board is an honorary society for college seniors and was the first national honor society for college senior women. Before the DU organization became a chapter of Mortar Board, it was known on campus as Kedros, honorary society for women.


  • Other: 1913-2005


Biographical / Historical

Mortar Board was established in 1918 from four local women's honorary organizations at Cornell University, Ohio State University, University of Michgan and Swarthmore College. Two of those groups (from Ohio State and Michigan) were already using Mortar Board as their organizing name and several were using insignia in the shape of a mortarboard. The society grew quickly after its establishment and as of of 2023 has 234 college student chapters and 14 alumni chapters in 45 states. While initially for women, Mortar Board Society admitted men beginning in 1975 as a condition of Title IX. Mortar Board is a member of the Associaton of College Honor Societies (ACHS).

At University of Denver, the Kedros honorary society was established in 1913 by four senior women (Lucille Carr Anderson, Mary Dodds, Grace Bartholemew Melzer and Alma Melzer Twombly) for the "promotion of scholarship and interest in school activities. Only girls of high standing and character are admitted to its ranks." Kedros began "tapping" new members during the annual Honors Convocation and ringing the traditional Kedros bell (first on March 19, 1923) during this tapping as well as during initiation of their members. The alumnae organization of Kedros was established in 1922 and remained active at least until the 1970s. In January of 1937, Kedros became a chapter of the national Mortar Board society and was initiated by a national officer in the Mary Reed library. The student chapter is still active on campus.


6.5 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

Collection contains materials for both active student and alumnae Kedros groups, who often worked together for programs and events, though collection is largely dominated by the alumnae groups. Boxes 1 and 2 contain alumnae lists, correspondence, publications (both local and national), meeting minutes and agendas, event details, extensive annual reports, and more. Boxes 3-6 contain scrapbooks with identifying dates. Box 7 is all member cards.


Boxes 1-2 are arranged alphabetically. Box 1 contains folders for Alumnae (lists and directories) through History of the Chapter. Box 2 contains folders for Meeting Minutes through Reports.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428