COLUMBIA — Usually held in the shadow of the Columns, this year’s Tap Day ceremony, an event where six honorary societies at MU unveil their new members, was relocated to Jesse Auditorium on Friday for the first indoor commemoration in 11 years.
“We anticipated that it would be coming indoors,” Jesse Auditorium manager John Murray said. “The call was made (Thursday) afternoon.”
The Jesse Auditorium crew had to move some props from the Greek Week fling that has been going on all week, but no events had to be canceled to accommodate the 81st annual Tap Day.
Carin Huffman Grinch, part of the Mystical 7 class of 2006, has been to at least six Tap Days while attending and working for MU.
“I am a little disappointed that the weather didn’t cooperate,” she said. “But it is still a special time to recognize students who have made outstanding contributions on campus.”
More than 60 undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty were recognized and inducted into the societies, which are LSV, QEBH, Mystical Seven, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board and Rollins Society.
One of the traditions of Tap Day is the anonymity of the inductees. Those being honored wore long robes with hoods that covered their faces. Guided by escorts, they walked in a procession down the aisles of Jesse Auditorium and later up the stairs to the stage.
“The hood was really annoying,” Mortar Board inductee Cara Stuckel said. “I had so many friends who were up there being tapped that I was excited for, but I couldn’t see them.”
During the ceremony, the societies first introduced the inductees by their extracurricular activities, which gave some of their identities away before their names were announced. As each extracurricular was disclosed, whispers between students filled the auditorium as they tried to figure out who was about to be inducted.
The new members of each organization are usually announced in the chronological order each group was founded; however, this year LSV inductees were introduced first because of the organization’s 100th anniversary.
The new members were a part of many diverse groups on campus and abroad, including Habitat for Humanity, fraternities, sororities and organizations to stop human trafficking.
“It’s a privilege and an honor beyond belief,” Stuckel said. “I can’t believe I get to be included with people that have that many accomplishments.”