The Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Society, Inc. was founded on December 3, 1914 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia by a small group of students and faculty members. It is the premier national leadership honor society for college students, as well as faculty, staff, administrators and alumni. Omicron Delta Kappa recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership, and exemplary character in its membership.
The Society recognizes achievement in the following five areas:
- Campus/ Community Service, Social/ Religious Activities, and Campus Government;
- Journalism, Speech and the Mass Media
- Creative and Performing Arts
Omicron Delta Kappa places an emphasis on the development of the whole person as a member of the college community and as a contributor to a better society. The ODK mark of distinction is well recognized by leaders in the academic and business worlds. .
In the United States, there are more than 313 Circles of ODK chartered at colleges and universities. Members include Margaret Thatcher, Arnold Palmer, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cornel West, Walter Cronkite, Gerald Ford, and thirty-six members of the U.S. Congress. The Society meets annually, alternating between national and regional conventions. Graduate scholarships are granted to members each year. .
The ODK Idea
The purpose of 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 create an organization which will help to mold 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, as well as other Omicron Delta Kappa members, on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and helpfulness.
Five Indispensable Qualifications for Membership
Exemplary character, responsible leadership and service in campus or community life, superior scholarship, genuine fellowship, and consecration to democratic ideals.
The ODK Idea affirms and promotes openness and inclusiveness among all people. Membership selection shall be free of bias so that all qualified will be considered equitably for membership.
Five Point Program for Every College Campus
Inclusion of The ODK Idea into every field of campus life; provision of intellectual leadership to campus movements; coordination of constructive movements; preservation of worthwhile traditions and customs; and improvement of the general welfare of the student body.
Active participation of faculty and administrative members of the Society in the Circle’s activities and their hearty cooperation with student members is a feature of great importance in Omicron Delta Kappa. Their active and continuous affiliation with the Circles increases the stability and effectiveness of the Society.