Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Circle 1914 to Present

Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society, was founded December 3, 1914, at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, by 15 student and faculty leaders. The founders formulated the idea that leadership of exceptional quality and versatility in college should be recognized, that representatives in all phases of college life should cooperate in worthwhile endeavors, and that outstanding students, faculty, and administrators should meet on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and helpfulness. OΔK® was the first college honor society of a national scope to give recognition and honor for meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities and to encourage development of general campus citizenship. The Alpha Circle also has a page www.odk.org.

Alpha Circle, 2019-20

Officers

  • President: Laura Calhoun '20
  • Vice President: Edwin Castellanos Compos '20
  • Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Knapp
  • Circle Coordinator: Kevin Finch

Voting Faculty Members

  • Kevin Finch, Assistant Professor of Journalism (2019-2022)
  • Elizabeth Knapp, Professor of Geology and Director of the Johnson Scholars Program (2019-2022)
  • Lucas Morel, Professor of Politics (2018-2021)
  • Mark Rush, Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law and Director, International Education (2018-2021)
  • Julie Woodzicka, Abigail Grigsby Urquhart Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science (2018-2021)

Alpha Circle Membership

Class of 2020

  • Hannah R. Archer
  • Lee F. Bernstein
  • Laura R. Calhoun
  • Edwin A. Castellanos Campos
  • Nancy E. Ernst
  • James W. Fleck
  • Joseph D. Jast
  • Brianna A. Karpowich
  • Tiffany B. Ko
  • Maya K. Lora
  • Rose M. Maxwell
  • Brian C. Peccie
  • Layne K. Smith
  • Hannah M. Witherell
  • Yue Yu

Law Class of 2020

  • Roy Abernathy
  • Leilani T. Bartell
  • Evelyn Clark
  • Hannah Cloh
  • Caroline L. Crosbie
  • Courtney Iverson
  • Emma Jennings
  • Natey Kinzounza
  • Junior J. Ndlovu
  • Austin W. Scieszinski
  • James Twisdale

Other Law Students

  • to be determined

History

The Omicron Delta Kappa Society, Inc., The National Leadership Honor Society for college students, recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership, and exemplary character. Membership in ODK is a mark of highest distinction and honor.

The Society recognizes achievement in scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social, religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and the creative and performing arts. Emphasis is placed on the development of the whole person, both as a member of the college community and as a contributor to a better society. Since its founding, Omicron Delta Kappa has initiated over 300,000 members.

The Society recognizes achievement in the following five areas:

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Campus/Community Service, Social/Religious Activities, and Campus Government
  • Journalism, Speech and the Mass Media
  • Creative and Performing Arts

The ODK "mark of distinction" is well recognized by leaders in both the academic and business worlds.

Purpose

The Purpose of The Omicron Delta Kappa Society is Threefold:

  • First, to recognize those who have attained a high standard of efficiency in collegiate activities and to inspire others to strive for conspicuous attainments along similar lines;
  • Second, to bring together the most representative students in all phases of collegiate life and thus to create an organization which will help to mould the sentiment of the institution on questions of local and intercollegiate interest;
  • Third, to bring together members of the faculty and student body of the institution on a basis of mutual interest and understanding.

Membership

Membership in Omicron Delta Kappa is as much an obligation and responsibility in leadership as it is a mark of highest distinction and honor. Membership is awarded to undergraduate junior and senior students; to graduate students; to faculty, staff, administration and alumni; and to persons qualifying for membership honoris causa. Student membership candidates must rank in the upper 35 percent in scholarship of their school or college and must show leadership in at least one of five areas:

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Campus/Community Service, Social/Religious Activities, and Campus Government
  • Journalism, Speech and the Mass Media
  • Creative and Performing Arts

Through membership in ODK, you gain potential friendships with nearly 270,000 living women and men whose peers recognize them as scholars and leaders; recognition by those around you who have been selected as the very top men and women at your college or university; recognition by leaders throughout the world; and the opportunity to continue lifetime service to your college with fellow ODK members and alumni.

The Foundation

The Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation chartered to administer the professional and philanthropic activities of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society. The Foundation awards $1,000 graduate scholarships each year to 13 outstanding ODK seniors who plan to attend accredited graduate or professional schools. Washington and Lee ODK members are also eligible for a separate scholarship named in honor of W&L alumnus Kennth P. Ruscio, former president of ODK and former president of W&L.


This page was last modified on July 18, 2019
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