A Year Later

Happy last day of May Cardinal Keys! This is certainly a wonderful time of year. Flowers are blooming and the school year is almost over! Hooray! As I sit here and think about the past school year and my first year out of school, I am amazed how quickly the time has flown by.

First and foremost, mark your calendars! Our 2017 National Conference will be held in Tucson, Arizona this November! We are switching things up this year and helping with a bike race for the first time ever! It will be an incredible weekend filled with service and socializing with Cardinal Keys from all over the country. More information will be sent your way in the upcoming months.

On April 21st, I attended the Eugene Fair chapter’s 2017 Initiation. It was incredibly special for me to return to Truman State and see all of my dear friends whom I served with. The ceremony was very special and I enjoyed hearing about the impact Cardinal Key continues to make. My time as an active member of Cardinal Key was life changing and it is incredibly encouraging to see that the passion for service and caring about others has not dwindled.

The Eugene Fair Chapter’s beautiful new members!

A reminder before summer starts: You can make a difference wherever you go. It doesn’t have to be a scheduled or planned service event, if you are caring for someone, you are making a difference and changing their life for the better. You have the ability to make a tremendous impact on those around you.

Thank you for your dedication to serving others. Thank you for embodying our virtues of faith, trust, fortitude, and wisdom. We hope to see you this fall at our National Conference!

Tori Holt

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Honors Day- University of Alabama

On the first Friday of April, classes are dismissed so that students at the University of Alabama can take part in what is known as “Honors Day.” This significant event is marked by the “Tapping on the Mound” ceremony, along with various awards recognitions from departments throughout campus. Though many Honor Societies, such as Cardinal Key, exist on campuses throughout the United States, it is interesting to see how the traditions of honor societies differ at different universities, even if their name is the same.

As a student at the University of Alabama, I have been fortunate enough to participate in the unique tradition of Honors Day for three years now. This event first began in the early 1900s as a way to recognize students for their scholastic contributions to the school. The focal event of Honors Day is the Tapping on the Mound ceremony. This takes place on the Quad atop a mound that once was a University building, but was burned down by Union soldiers. Friends and family of honor societies inductees are invited to the festivities, and there are usually around 400-500 people present. During the ceremony, UA students will find out if they have been invited to join some of the most prestigious honor societies on campus.

At UA, students are invited to apply for honor societies in early January. Most students will find out within the following weeks whether they were accepted to societies or not, but upcoming seniors are not told of their acceptance until Honors Day. On Honors Day, the president of each Senior honor society reads aloud the names of the new members. These inductees will then come forward and be “tapped” on the mound.

CK Love,

Hilary Jones

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Happy New Year!

Hello Cardinal Key!

Welcome to a new year with plenty of new opportunities.  The part that I always found weird about New Year’s Day is how people make resolutions that they either can’t attain or don’t intend to finish.  Over time, I am starting to realize why people make these resolutions.  I am a firm believer that you create your own reality; a lot of people refer to this the Law of Attraction.  There is a quote by the author Brian Adams in his book How to Succeed that says, “like attracts like.  Whatever the conscious mind thinks and believes, the subconscious identically creates.”

Stay out of the mindset that you won’t be able to achieve everything that you set out to in 2017.  Be the best you that you can be.  Believe in yourself and everything will follow.  Know that there will be aspects in your life that won’t go exactly according to your plan, but don’t let that get to you.  Keep pushing yourself to be a better version of you and the better version of you will follow.  Even if you don’t believe in the Law of Attraction, what does it hurt to give it a shot?  Go out and be the best version of yourself that you can be because that is the one thing that you can control.  Everything else will fall into place because positivity attracts.

Believe in yourself.  Go out and make your New Year resolutions realities!


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Random Acts of Service – Holiday Edition!

Hi Cardinal Keys! I hope everyone is having a terrific winter! I’ve certainly enjoyed the changing leaves and crispness in the air. As an organization that is based on serving others, I wanted to encourage you with 10 random acts of service for the holiday season!


Image result for holiday photos

  1. Spend time serving at a local food pantry or soup kitchen – For me, food is all about community. Memories are made around the table and during the winter months, a warm meal and time spent inside can lift the spirits of those who need it.

  2. Hold the door for others and share a smile – This is a great act of service for any time of the year but I think it can be especially beneficial during the holiday season. The holidays can be a hectic and stressful time. By sharing a smile you are sending a message of joy and cheer!

  3. Gather a group together and go caroling – Whether you go singing around campus or a senior living facility, the familiar tune of Frosty the Snowman and other classics bring joy to the lives of others.

  4. Collect your spare change and donate it to a Salvation Army Bell Ringer – If you don’t have any change, consider sharing a cup of hot cocoa or coffee with the Bell Ringers to help keep them warm.

  5. Be a Salvation Army Bell Ringer – If you happen to have a few hours of free time, consider being a Bell Ringer! Here is an link to see opportunities in your area: https://www.registertoring.com/WebPages/Default.aspx

  6. Share leftovers with the homeless – One of my favorite holiday traditions is bagging my holiday leftovers and delivering it to those who need it.

  7. Celebrate and encourage those who have to work during the holidays – Make cards or bake cookies for hospital employees, police officers & firefighters who spend their holidays away from their families while serving the public. Let them know they are appreciated this holiday season.

  8. Donate blood – While this is something that is beneficial year round, the number of blood donations decreases during the holiday season and your donation makes a huge difference. Sign up to donate here: http://www.redcrossblood.org/

  9. Rake leaves or shovel snow – If the leaves are piling up or there is snow on the ground, neighbors in your community may really need your help. Clearing driveways and sidewalks from leaves and snow is a great act of service to your neighbors and promotes safety in your community!

  10. Candy Cane Sprinkle – Leave a candy cane with a positive message on cars in a parking lot or on desks in an empty classroom. Whoever receives a candy cane will feel encouraged and enjoy the sweet treat.


We would love to see you serve! Did you and your chapter try some of these Random Acts of Service or do you have ideas to share? Please send photos and videos to cknationalsocialmedia@gmail.com or to the Cardinal Key National Honor Society Facebook Page!


Remember that a small action can have a tremendous impact in the lives of others. Have fun serving!


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Tips for Battling Stress

September brings lots of excitement. For a student attending school in the South, like myself, college classes are well underway and football season is starting up. For those in schools elsewhere in the country, classes may just be beginning. Regardless, the month of September is a busy time for college students nationwide, both socially and academically.

As honor students, we have a tendency to spread ourselves thin, especially during the beginning of the semester.  It seems like we can be caught up in a whirlwind of classes, due dates, or social outings. Stress can cause students to buckle under pressure which can affect their grades and even their mental health. To help combat the stressors of beginning a new semester, I’ve put together some of my favorite tips for staying organized and motivated:

Keep a Planner

I cannot stress the importance of having a planner enough. There are students who claim they “don’t need a planner,” and you reading this may very well be one of those students. For underclassmen who are accustomed to less rigorous high school schedules, keeping a planner may seem frivolous; however, if you make a habit of writing things down in your planner as soon as you find out about them you can be less unsure about test days and due dates. I always write down all my test dates and important project deadlines in my planner on syllabus day. That way, I’m sure that I will never forget about them.

Write down how to succeed in a class

One of my favorite tips for the beginning of the semester is to sit down with all of your class syllabi and really go over the learning objectives and expectations. In the past, I will keep a short list of the steps I have to take in each class in order to make the grade I desire. For instance, if a professor emphasizes office hours in his introductory class, I will make a note of that for future reference. Writing down these goals has really helped me devise a step by step plan to keep my GPA where I want it to be.

Keep a small file folder

In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than a messy backpack! If I can’t find where a certain set of notes or a print-out is, I immediately enter into panic mode. Far too often, I see college students scrambling through loose-leaf papers in a messy binder, frantically trying to find an assignment that is due that day. Freshman year this was really a problem for me, so I bought a small filing box to keep all of my old notes in. At the beginning of each semester, I simply put a new, labeled folder into the box for each class I have. I keep my syllabi and my assignments in their designated spots that way I know exactly where they are when I need them.

Stay healthy

Though it may not directly relate to organization and stress management, staying healthy is a very important component to having a successful semester. For one, it is hard to succeed in your classes if you constantly feel under the weather. Staying physically fit and healthy is a not-so-obvious way to help you start off the semester on the right foot. For me, working out every day is a must. No matter how busy my schedule is, I always set aside about an hour to hit the gym for some “me” time. Working out, whether it be light walking or intense weight lifting, can help alleviate stress and give you a hobby to participate in. When you’re super busy and have approaching deadlines, taking the time to work out may be the last thing on your mind. However, the much-needed mental break will benefit you in the long run. Not only that, but exercise helps strengthen you physically, which makes you less susceptible to illness and more capable of putting effort towards your academics!

I hope that these simple tips helped some of you feel more confident as you move forward into this semester. The beginning of the year is stressful for all of us, but it’s extremely important to not let the stress drag you down and cause you to lag behind in your classes. Instead, start your classes feeling calm, organized, and relaxed, knowing that you have the steps for success!

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