Motar Board - National College Senior Honor Society


With hopes of taking home a chapter development grant, masked chapters will compete head-to-head in our Innovation Arena by presenting proposals for worthwhile projects. The concept for the challenge comes from a combination of the hit TV shows The Masked Singer and Shark Tank.

Finalists will be announced on January 26 at the Special National Conference. On February 15, during Mortar Board Week, a panel of Mortar Board judges—professionals in business and education—will view the finalists’ presentations and provide feedback, declaring the winning entries.

All competitors’ identities will be kept secret until the judges have declared the winner(s). Only then will the winning chapters be unmasked in the Grand Reveal!

The Masked Chapter Challenge is made possible thanks to the generosity of a loyal Mortar Board alum. Up to $500 is available to the winning entry.

Important Dates and Deadlines

November 1: Intent to Compete form goes live

December 2: Proposal submission form goes live

January 15: Proposals due by 5 p.m. Eastern

January 26: Masked Chapter finalists announced at the Special National Conference

February 15: Finalists compete in the Innovation Arena (virtually)

February 15: The Grand Reveal

Steps to Entering

  1. Complete the Intent to Compete form: This will let us know about your intent to participate. Don’t worry that your idea is not yet fully developed at this point. We simply want to know that you will be bringing an idea to the challenge by the video pitch deadline. Complete this as soon as possible. You will not mask your entry at this step.

  2. Submit your masked proposal on or before the deadline: Your proposal will include the video pitch and a project budget. The proposal may be for a project or program you have already done or one that you would like to do. See instructions and deadline information below.

  3. Receive Feedback: National Office staff will offer feedback on your proposal. Staff will determine if your submission makes it to the finalist stage in the Innovation Arena. Not all submissions will make it to this stage.

  4. Attend the Special National Conference (virtually) on January 26 at 7 p.m. Eastern and learn if your proposal makes it to the finals.

  5. Attend the finals on February 15 where judges will hear the pitch live and make decisions, including The Grand Reveal.

Proposal Instructions

Your proposal submission must include a five-minute recorded video pitch and a project budget.

  1. Three to five-minute video pitch: describe the need your proposal addresses and how your project responds to that need. Be specific enough for initial reviewers to grasp your concept and evaluate its viability. Make sure your pitch is complete and yet succinct. Mask your entry. For example, do not use your chapter name or campus name. Do not stand in front of a college or university banner.

    Record your video by any means you choose. Please do not edit or use special effects. Give a straight unedited pitch that is between three and five minutes long. The video must contain:

    1. Idea summary or overview: Give a general overview of the fundraiser, program or event that you entering in the challenge.

    2. Needs analysis: Discuss the need or gap that you believe is addressed by your entry. Who is affected and how? Why should this need be addressed by your chapter over another organizaiton?

    3. Chapter motivation: What about your chapter’s motivation, and experiences matter most when bringing about the success of this program or project? Why is your chapter invested in this? If the project or program has been completed, what made it a success? Remember mask your chapter identity.

    4. Grant amount the chapter is requesting and justification for the amount. Maximum amount granted will be $500.

  2. Present a budget that shows

    1. Revenue from the program or event, institutional support or other partners.

    2. Expenses of the program or event

    3. How the sum granted from the Masked Chapter Challenge would assist in the production of the event.

Please save all your entry materials and submit online in the proposal submission form on or before January 15. Please note that you might need to upload to a cloud service and send a shared link to your video if file size issues arise. Contact Sarah Pol ( and Jane Hamblin ( with challenge questions. 

Offered Prizes and Experiences

You will have an opportunity to receive feedback and advice on your idea from accomplished members who are making a difference in the world of work and education. If your idea is excellent, you might even receive funding to make your idea a reality.

  1. Judges’ feedback: Judges will provide feedback to finalists on February 15, right after the presentation. A group of successful and savvy alumni will compliment and critique the presentation.

  2. Learning experience: This is a résumé-worthy learning experience.

  3. Chapter development grant: Competing chapters vie for a project development funding.

  4. Recognition: National finalists will be recognized.

Program Rules

All submitted programs, projects, events or ideas must benefit the Mortar Board. Funding will not be granted to support organizations outside of Mortar Board.