The first women admitted to the College of William and Mary in 1918 were not permitted to join the literary societies, so they formed the Alpha Club which later became Mortar Board. All women students belonged to the Alpha Club. It served as a literary, music, and dramatic society for the women and was also a focus for social activities. In later years, as more women enrolled, many of Alpha Club's activities were taken over by specialized groups, leaving Alpha as an honorary society which eventually became Mortar Board, a national organization that recognizes college women for service, scholarship, and leadership. Mortar Board began accepting male members in the 1975-1976 academic year.
- Chapter 1, When Mary Entered With her Brother William: Women Students at the College of William and Mary, 1918-1945, Laura F. Parrish, M. A. Thesis, College of William and Mary, 1988.