Endless updates from the UCLA Agathai chapter!


The Passing of the Torch [Final Meeting Recap]

Hello family, friends, and supporters:

As us Bruins–soon-to-be graduates and all–wrap up our careers (and lives!) at UCLA, the time had officially come tonight for our President Vince to “pass the torch” on to the incoming Mortar Board Class of 2011-2012. Tonight in our final meeting in the Global Viewpoint Room in Ackerman Union, President Vince recapped the year and thanked us all for our contributions. First, during his recap, he reminded us of how far this chapter had improved from the previous year–and the extraordinary “new heights” that the Agathai Chapter had reached. As you can see from the picture below, Vince re-wrote the three goals that we had set as a chapter this year: Innovate Projects, Refurbish Existing Programs, and Amplify Visibility. Without a doubt, we did those things and completely revolutionized what the Agathai Chapter stood for. It only takes one viewing of the Mortar Board Recap video (in the previous blog post) to realize the quantity and more importantly, quality of the events were participated in and the exciting things that occurred.

And after he was done recapping the year, it was all something that we undoubtedly took to heart; as UCLA students (and soon to be alumni), we represent this University always and forever. We can all be proud–collectively as a group–of how we represented UCLA during this past year in Mortar Board.

But he was not done, tonight, folks; Vince then spoke to each one of us in front of both our peers and incoming Mortar Board-ers and recognized our individuals achievements. Just listening to Vince speak out about each person really made us realize how much we all accomplished–together. We each brought our own “talents” and skill-sets and did some remarkable and beautiful things this year that we know made a difference in our lives and most importantly, others’ lives. In addition, it was an extremely classy gesture for Vince to do that–he has been our leader all year long, expecting great things out of us and getting the best out of us in every which way.

Yet, as they say, all great things must come to an end. As Vince finished recapping what we did and how we did it, it was time to pass the imaginary podium on to the incoming President, Maddie. While this current class indeed took this chapter to “new heights,” we were not perfect and know that the incoming class can improve upon our success. Maddie reiterated this point and promised already to keep the “bar” at the current level of excellence while continuing to expand Mortar Board’s influence. The foundation is set and Maddie and Co. will absolutely “raise the bar” even higher.

In conclusion, it was a special year–a year that all of us will forever be proud of. And even more, we are proud of what thechapter did together and just as excited to see what this incredible new group of students will do in the future. It has been an honor to be a part of Mortar Board and the Agathai Chapter. Best of luck to next year’s and it’s not good bye, only see ya’ later!

Sending the warmest regards from the Class of 2011,

-Barry Goldenberg, Historian 2011


2010-2011 Mortar Board Recap Video (Check it out!)

Hello all,

Just wanted to share this great recap video of the year that was in Mortar Board. It’s slightly lengthy at 11 minutes, but I promise it is worth it–I hope it shows how special this year has been for all of us. ENJOY! 🙂

Mortar Board Banquet Recap and Award Winners

Hello scholars, family ,and friends:

I just wanted to pop in and say that this past weekend, we had our annual Initiation/Banquet Ceremony for both new members and old members. It was a great success with parents, family and friends all gathered to celebrate the initiation of next year’s Mortar Board class as well as congratulate this past year’s achievements. We thank everyone who helped make this event possible and hope that for all who attended, it was very memorable.

As customary, we gave out a number of special awards that I wanted to recap for this blog. Congratulations to all our award winners!

Here is a picture of our new initiates:

Congratulations to the Agathai Chapter’s 2011 esteemed Honorary Member Initiates: Erin Gruwell, an inspirational educator who was portrayed by Hilary Swank in the 2007 film, Freedom Writers; Neal Stulberg, an internationally renowned orchestral conductor and acclaimed pianist; and David Gere, founder and director of MAKE ART/STOP AIDS!

Congratulations to the Agathai Chapter’s 2011 Tip of the Hat Award Recipient: Dr. Carol M. Newton!

Congratulations to the Agathai Chapter’s first-ever 2011 Pamela R. Cysner Award of Excellence alumni recipient: Kathe Stewart, Mortar Board Class of 1989!

Congratulations to the Agathai Chapter’s 2011 Scholarship Award Recipients (L-R): Yolanda Michel, UCLA; Griselda Garcia, University High School; Karla Villalobos, Sylmar Senior High School; Samantha Coronado, University High School; and Roxana Duenas, Napa Valley College (not pictured)!

Again, congrats to all our award winners!

Congratulations to the NEW Mortar Board Class of 2011-2012!

Hello everyone!

After going through the largest and most qualified applicant pool ever, we have finally selected the new Mortar Board class for next year. I just want to congratulate the new class as this class is made up of the most extraordinary individuals at UCLA. It is quite an achievement and a heartfelt congratulations is deserved!


Hey everyone! First, I just want to put one more plug in for applying for Mortar Board–applications are DUE TOMORROW AT 4PM in 105 Kerckhoff Hall! With that being said, it is not too late to finish off the application, ask any questions, or apply. The extra effort will be absolutely worth it! You might ask, “well, it is the day before and are their any applications still available?” This should answer your question:

In other news, I also wanted to report on an awesome Community Service project hosted by the LA Food Bank that Mortar Board participated in. At the LA Food Bank, volunteers prepare food for thousands of hungry people throughout the community–it is a wonderful cause and one that is often overlooked. Our Mortar Board-ers went to the LA Food Bank factory and physically got their hands dirty, rolled up their sleeves, and joined together to prepare lunches and other types of meals for those who do not have them. Hunger and poverty are hand-in-hand and LA Food Bank helps tackle both of those issues together. UCLA Mortar Board truly came out in full force to join the team of volunteers and fight hunger and again, it was a great time and a wonderful cause. For more information, you can visit http://www.lafoodbank.org Check out some pictures here:

A group shot of the of team getting ready!

Of course, our President Vince was–and always is–leading by example!

Community Service Co-Chair Theo and our interim VP Annie all smiles!

Diana and Annie hard at work…focused on making sure everything is in the right place.

Our Community Service Co-Chair Amelie also hard at work in the midst of the factory.

Oh Theo…no amount of physical labor could ever wipe that smile from her face. 🙂

More the group! A long day but meaningful and productive.

Anyway, as always, thanks for checking out the Mortar Board blog and don’t forget to visit http://www.mortarboardatucla.org for more information about us. We appreciate the support and if you are potential applicant thinking about applying, think no more….APPLY NOW!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I know mine will be full of studying, which, won’t be as stressful as normal because Mortar Board is having a study social tonight in the library. An oxymoron? Well, maybe….but not to me! 🙂

Week Four Wrap-up! (Apply to Mortar Board today!)

Good evening everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful week full of smiles and sunshine–yes, lots and lots of beautiful sunshine here at UCLA! Anyway, as usual, it has been a very, very busy week full of exciting Mortar Board events that I want to catch up with.

First, earlier this week, Amelie and Theo,  our amazing Community Service Chairs, planned a day helping with “Project Chicken Soup,” a non-profit organization that provides healthy, Kosher meals for people in the Los Angeles area living with HIV/AIDS. Obviously, it was a wonderful cause that Mortar Board-er’s lent a hand in and of course, enjoyed every minute of it. Here are a few pictures of the volunteers who are all smiles:

Aside from a really great and successful Community Service event, we also had time a physically awesome (and tiring?!)  social event; Mortar Board hiked up to the elusive “Hollywood” sign in, well, HOLLYWOOD! All in all, it was only a 45 minute or so hike but was a really fun one. There is no better bonding experience than hiking together and sharing a beautiful sunset. Here are a few pictures from last Saturday:

And to add even more fuel to the fire that is called MORTAR BOARD, tonight a large group of us attended (thank you to our President Vince for securing invitations) a presentation/Q&A with Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools and “star” of the education documentary “Waiting for Superman.” The event took place at the Law School as a Michelle addressed the education crisis, her approach to solving the nation’s problems in that arena, and most of all, took questions from the audience which resulted in lively discussion:

Indeed, it has been an eventful week–and it’s not even over yet! This weekend we have another social to go watch the USC vs. UCLA Quidditch game–UCLA is 2nd in the Pac-10! (Any Harry Potter game out there?!) Also, we have a giant fundraising event at a Westwood favorite restaurant–Acalpulco–to flyer and advertise our wonderful honor society.

And most importantly, if you are a Junior at UCLA interesting in applying, well, APPLY!! The deadline is fast approaching and you can find more information at http://www.mortarboardatucla.org

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll keep you updated next week–as always. Signing off, saying, GO BRUINS!

A week full of RECRUITMENT, fundraising, and more!

Good afternoon from the Agathai Chapter! I hope you are having a wonderful Friday–and enjoying the beautiful LA weather for those who are here. Anyway, this week has been a busy week for of “let’s get ready for the rest of the year” types of week.

Last Saturday, we held our first official social of the quarter, as a bunch of met at Enzo’s Pizzeria in Westwood–low key and casual, Enzo’s has been a staple of Westwood for many, many years and is a great place to relax and literally have the best pizza in town! As much as our three values of Scholarship, Leadership, and Service are important, above all, we are group of friends who enjoy each other’s company. Robert Orben once said, “If you can laugh together, you can work together,” and we believe in that principle.

Following the last weekend social, we had a busy week of fundraising at Rubio’s in Ackerman Union. A lot of Mortar Board’ers showed up to flyer and help fundraise for the chapter, so it was definitely a success. Basically, part of the proceeds that regular students buy from Rubio’s is given to Mortar Board so it is great in so many ways–thank you Rubio’s!

And lastly, on Thursday, we had our first Information Session for prospective applicants. Our recruitment chair, Amanda, joined by other members including our President and Vice-President, helped answer questions from UCLA students about Mortar Board. It was a great way for students to gain more information about who we are and what we do as well as the about the application process. Our biggest focus is recruitment right n0w as we want to make sure as many UCLA students as possible apply for membership; being a part of Mortar Board is incredible, yet, many do not know about it and it is our job to make sure they do!

SOOO….since we are on the topic, check out a few things on Mortar Board if you do not know enough already!







Enjoy the links everyone–and enjoy the weekend. Next week we start some great community service events and will make sure to share our experiences with the world.