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MU's secret societies reveal new initiates at 85th annual Tap Day

Friday, April 27, 2012 | 5:56 p.m. CDT; updated 8:37 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 28, 2012
More than 50 individuals were inducted into MU's six secret societies Friday afternoon at the university's 85th annual Tap Day. The event recognizes individuals for their outstanding performances in academic and extracurricular activities.

*A previous version of this story included an incorrect first name for Lauren Fischer.

COLUMBIA — The secret's out.

The identities of more than 50 individuals who are now members of MU's six secret societies were revealed at the 85th annual Tap Day Ceremony, held at 2 p.m. Friday.

The six societies, QEBH, Mystical 7, LSV, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa and Rollins Society, revealed their new members in the order of the organizations' founding years. The oldest society, QEBH, went first. Details about each society can be found in this previous Missourian report.

Membership in the groups is most often restricted to upperclassmen and graduate students, regardless of their academic majors. Each honorary can also "honor tap" MU faculty and staff members whom they feel have significantly contributed to the experience of MU students.

On Thursday, event organizers decided to move the event into Jesse Auditorium due to a rainy forecast. In her opening address, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs gestured to a picture of Jesse Hall and the columns projected on the screen. "Traditionally we met under the columns, as we are today," she said.

Although Jesse Hall isn't the traditional location, certain aspects of the ceremony remain constant from year to year. Before the ceremony begins, university officials, current members and new initiates file in after the audience is seated.

Because of the event's secret nature, initiates who have not yet been revealed wear hoods that cover their faces. Each society has a designated robe color, as well as a stole.

Chancellor Brady Deaton delivered the opening remarks.

"Respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence are forever ingrained in front of the columns," he said. "But today, the values come alive in the students' studies and work."

*Lauren Fischer was inducted into ODK last year. Since then, she has participated in service events around campus with the organization. This year, she attended the ceremony to unveil the new inductees.

"It was different this time, because first of all, there was no hood on my face," she said. "And I got to see the faces of everyone and see how excited they were, which I couldn't see when I was up there."

Sophia Mullineaux had to keep the secret of her induction from her twin sister, who is also her roommate. But she said the moment when her hood was lifted made it worth it.

"It was exhilarating," she said. "It's the most public recognition I've ever gotten for anything I've ever done in my life. It was probably one of the best moments of my life."

Missouri Student Association President Xavier Billingsley was the last to address the crowd.

"Days like this set us apart from those average institutions around us," he said. "But to the initiates, you won't just graduate with a diploma, you'll graduate with a legacy."

The list of all inductees will be available by Monday afternoon at getinvolved.missouri.edu


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