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Cupit named National Mortar Board Fellow

Brookhaven native Margaret “Maggie” Cupit is among eight outstanding students from across the nation receiving more than $30,000 in graduate fellowships each from the Mortar Board National Foundation.

Mortar Board National Foundation president, Denise Rode, Ed.D., observed, “With these fellowships, the Mortar Board National Foundation plays a significant role in the development of eight members who possess undeniable talent and drive; they will make a difference in their spheres of influence. Mortar Board is proud to contribute to their success.”



Every year, the Mortar Board National Foundation awards fellowships to assist members in financing their graduate studies. Since the establishment of the fellowship program in 1941, more than $720,000 has been granted to help members pursue graduate or professional school.

Annually, members are chosen to receive these competitive graduate fellowships based on a demonstrated record of academic excellence, strong recommendation, scholarship promise and Mortar Board involvement.

Cupit graduated from Brookhaven High School in May 2009. She is the daughter of Paul and Ellie Phillips and Malcolm and Marlene Cupit, all of Brookhaven.

Cupit’s desire to become a pediatric oncologist has deeply personal roots. As a 19-year old first-year student at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Cupit was diagnosed with cancer and took a year off from her studies to receive treatment at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Upon returning to school, she gained research experience in several scientific laboratories, clinical research projects and scientific writing endeavors.

She also devoted countless volunteer hours to local children’s hospitals and community organizations, in addition to serving as president of the Torch chapter of Mortar Board.

Although at one point she “doubted [she] would ever be healthy enough to return to college or pursue medical dreams,” Cupit earned her baccalaureate degree in chemistry in 2014 is now working toward her M.D. at the Mayo Medical School as the winner of the Barbara Cook Fellowship.

Mortar Board is the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. Since its founding in 1918, more than a quarter of a million members have been initiated at 231 chartered chapters across the nation.

Mortar Board provides its members with opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community.

Some notable Mortar Board members include professional football player and philanthropist Drew Brees, former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and award-winning actor Marion Ross. Learn more about Mortar Board at www.mortarboard.org.