About Omicron Delta Kappa
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. OΔKŪ 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. Since its founding, Omicron Delta Kappa has initiated over 300,000 members.
The Society recognizes achievement in the following five areas:
- Campus or Community Service, Social or Religious Activities and Campus Government
- Journalism, Speech and the Mass Media
- Creative and Performing Arts
The ΟΔΚ Idea
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 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 Major Phases of Campus Life: Omicron Delta Kappa recognizes and encourages achievement in scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social and religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech, and the mass media; creative and performing arts.
Omicron Delta Kappa
places emphasis upon the development of the whole person, both as a present
member of his/her college community and as a prospective contributor to a
better society. The Society believes that while good scholarship and
intellectual development are the chief objectives of college years, the life of
the mind is not the only life students will have to cope with as the result of
their college experience. It is not enough to be merely a “scholar;” other
indispensable qualities have to be cultivated also. Students and faculty
members have to understand more clearly that the self is truly a composite of
the hand, the heart, and the spirit as well as the mind. Omicron Delta Kappa believes
that the real search for the truth, the promotion of good will, the development
of consideration and understanding, good taste, and a sense of honor, learning
how to get along and cooperate with others, and the assumption of duty and
responsibility, are important lessons and personal qualities which one learns
and develops through an integrated program of academic and extracurricular
The Society further believes that progressive and intelligent development in campus citizenship requires the opportunity and freedom to engage in purposeful activities carried on by students with friendly counsel and association of faculty members.
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.
Membership in Omicron Delta Kappa is awarded to undergraduate junior and senior students, to students of graduate and professional schools and colleges of the institution, to members of the faculty and administration, and to alumni. Election to membership is on the basis of merit, is irrespective of a person’s affiliation with other organizations, and is without solicitation or propaganda, such as rushing or social pressure, to insure acceptance of the invitation to membership. Membership is as much an obligation and responsibility in citizenship as it is a mark of highest distinction and honor.
Diversity Statement: The ΟΔΚ 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: Inculcation of The ΟΔΚ 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.
Omicron Delta Kappa
is to be active in the molding of campus opinion, in rendering genuine service
to Alma Mater, and in marshalling the constructive forces in the college or
university for the upholding of those social, cultural and moral values in
which every institution believes itself to be rich. Even more important than
this is the Society’s goal of translating these values and ideals into terms of
everyday campus and community living instead of leaving them as so many
As a means of achieving this objective, Omicron Delta Kappa provides a clearinghouse for students, faculty and administration officers from all schools, colleges and departments of the institution, and undertakes to assist the college or university in carrying out important work, thus providing a basis for mutual confidence and understanding which is invaluable in the successful conduct of any institution.
Faculty Participation: Active participation of faculty and administration 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.
Circles of Omicron Delta Kappa, with the approval of the Board of Directors of the Society, may elect an additional number (up to eight) of Honorary Members when the Circles or their sheltering institutions observe such important occasions as the fiftieth, seventy-fifth, centennial, sesquicentennial, and bicentennial anniversaries.