On Saturday, April 8, the Innocents Society and the Black Masque Chapter of Mortar Board recognized new members, outgoing members and undergraduate scholarship recipients at the Champions Club before planting the ceremonial ivy on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus as part of the annual Ivy Day celebration.
Keynote speaker Jane Hirt, past managing editor and vice president of the Chicago Tribune, shared words of wisdom to empower students to renew and reinvent themselves throughout their career. Among Hirt’s recommendations were to seek to have an identity outside of work, to do things while you still can enjoy them and to live within your means while planning for the unexpected.
A 1989 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Hirt served as the president of Mortar Board, managing editor of the Daily Nebraskan and an officer in Chi Omega sorority. Her involvement in the Nebraska campus continued through her roles in the Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network, the Alumni Association Advisory Board, the Daily Nebraskan Alumni Board and the journalism college’s advisory board.
Hirt’s narrative shared the personal experience of choosing to leave her comfort zone first through career moves and later by choosing to take a “radical sabbatical” to travel and indulge her curiosities for a year. She encouraged others to turn apprehension into anticipation for personal growth.
Following the keynote address, each society recognized honorary inductees.
Honorary Innocents included Greg Bashford, professor and biomedical engineer in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering; Kwame Dawes, the Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of English and the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner; and Chad Kilpatrick, recruitment manager in the Office of Admissions.
Honorary Mortar Board inductees were Lindsay Hastings, Clifton Professor in Mentoring Research and the Director of the Nebraska Human Resources Institute; Helen Fagan, a diversity scholar, consultant and lecturer in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication; and Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer.
The notable members and underclassmen scholarship recipients are as follows.
Innocents Society Outstanding Seniors
Innocents Society Freshman Scholarship Winners
Rhiannon Cobb, Innocents Society Memorial Scholarship
Emily Johnson, Irvin A. Sherman Memorial Innocents Society Scholarship
Vincent Malene, Innocents Society Memorial Scholarship
Jared Noetzel, James S. Pittenger Scholarship
Gregory Tracy, Innocents Society Memorial Scholarship
Mortar Board Sophomore Notables
Mortar Board Freshman Notables
Drvol Family Innocents Society/Mortar Board Scholarship Recipient
For more than 100 years the Innocents Society and Mortar Board have celebrated leadership, service and scholarship. Founded in 1903, the Innocents Society is uniquely Nebraskan and serves as the Chancellor’s Senior Honorary. Each year 13 juniors are selected for membership. The Black Masque Chapter of Mortar Board began in 1905 and affiliated with the national Mortar Board in 1920 to become Nebraska’s only national senior honor society.