ODK All the Way

Written by DeMarcus Davis

January 30th, Omicron Delta Kappa tapped members to be inducted for the spring Initiation Ceremony, February 11th.  

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(Courtesy of Omicron Delta Kappa’s Facebook)

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) is a national leadership honor society that holds true to its values of integrity, character development, service, and fellowship. The society was founded in 1914 by 15 students at Washington and Lee University located in Lexington, Virginia. The founders noted that the general principle of scholarship wasn’t the only way to measure success; there are other “intrinsic” qualities that are important as well. There are 301 active ODK Circles in the United States and Fontbonne is one of them. ODK grooms its members to be effective leaders and continue to strive for excellence.

Co-Advisor Elizabeth Brennan said, “You’re not just being honored based on academics or just your involvement on campus but to a greater degree.”

On November 16, 2013, alum Dustin Graves founded Fontbonne’s Omicron Delta Kappa Circle. The organization centers its programming around the five phases of campus life: Campus Engagement, Scholarship, Athletics, Journalism, Speech, and Mass Media, and Creative and Performing Arts.

Brennan, who has served as co-advisor for the last two years, compared her experience to other honor societies she was involved with when in undergrad. “You were simply honored and given a certificate, and that was it. There are ODK chapters all over the country and some of them are like that, but our chapter here at Fontbonne, we’ve chosen a more involved route.”

Some of the organizations activities include: Volleyball Tournaments, “Big Pink” for Breast Cancer Awareness and Luck ‘O the Irish” for St. Patrick’s; Last Lecture, honors an esteemed member of the Fontbonne Community; Trivia Night, a fundraiser to send ODK members to national conferences; and Snowcoming Concert, an end of the semester event for students to enjoy musical performances such as Kris Allen and Madison Letter.

ODK is unlike any other honor society on campus. Members of ODK include: junior and senior undergraduates, staff and faculty members, alumni, and graduate students. Students are required to maintain a top 35% in their class in order to apply. ODK’s executive board score student application on their degree of involvement on campus. When accepted, it is up to the student on how involved they want get. “We’re going in blind,” Brennan stated. “It’s the résumé that gets you in.”

Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD), a freshman honor society, is different. Students are required to be in the top 20% of their class. “After freshman year, you really don’t do much with it,” said student Liz Theisen, a member of both ODK and ALD. “With ODK, you have to be involved whereas in ALD, you don’t.”

ALD became a national organization in 1924 and started as an all girl’s honor society. In 1976, it became co-education in a response to Title XI. The first two male members were inducted in 1981. There are over 275 ALD chapters and it continues to recognize students that achieve academic excellence.

Brennan believes students should apply for the organization because of the campus and professional opportunities, and it is a great “résumé builder.”

“It’s nice to be recognized for academics and achievements. It leads into networking and provides leadership development. Fontbonne doesn’t have Greek Life, ODK creates the camaraderie and pride that’s missing on campus.”

DeMarcus Davis is the Social Media Editor and a contributor to Fontbonne University’s Griffin Roar.