Tapping Ceremony


Cardinal Key-motorboard tapping

Cardinal Key and Mortar Board Tapping Ceremony, 1949


One of the eagerly anticipated VEISHEA events was the Tapping Ceremony, which notified men and women of their election into either the Cardinal Key Honor Society (a local society that began at Iowa State in 1926 to honor senior and junior men) or the Mortar Board Honor Society (a national society that honored senior women; the Iowa State chapter was founded in 1924). Beginning in the 1920s, members of these honor societies went into the crowd north of the Campanile on the Friday afternoon of VEISHEA and tapped candidates on the back to let them know they had been chosen.

Cardinal Key, 1961

Cardinal Key Tapping Ceremony, 1961

Cardinal Key, 1966

Iowa State University President, W. Robert Parks, "tapped" into the Cardinal Key Honor Society, 1966 


Mortar Board, 1958

Diane Fairbanks taps Jan Polson
Mortar Board Tapping Ceremony, 1958


Mortar Board, 1961   Mortar Board Tapping Ceremony, 1961