University of Maryland, College Park

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About the Circle

The Sigma Circle of OΔK was founded on February 2, 1927, by six men who immediately began tapping undergraduate members of OΔK. Formerly, men knew that they were being considered for OΔK if they were invited to the Calvert Cotillion in December. Their formal initiation would occur at a convocation in the Spring.

Many famous people have been initiated into Sigma Circle, some as student and faculty members, others as Honorary members. Some of Sigma Circle’s famous members include President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vice President Alben W. Barkley, the Earl of Halifax, Admiral Stansfield Turner, and Congressman Steny Hoyer.

Sigma Circle is very proud of its long and proud history. It originated the Annual Awards Banquet; awards an annual $1,000 scholarship to an incoming freshman who was a high school leader; selects the “Top Ten Freshmen” and the “Sophomore Leader of the Year;” and with the help of alumni donations constructed the OΔK Fountain on McKeldin Mall, which was built to create a lasting monument to leadership and to those who have contributed so much to the campus. All of the names of those people involved with OΔK since 1927 are engraved on the granite sides of the OΔK Fountain, which was dedicated in April 1997.

During the academic year, the Sigma Circle holds monthly meetings with full membership and bi-weekly meetings with the nine officers. Selection and Initiation are held once each semester. In the fall of 2013, the Sigma Circle inducted 1 alumna, 3 faculty/staff, 3 graduate students, and 31 undergraduates. In the spring of 2014, 1 alumna, 4 faculty/staff, 2 graduate students, and 32 undergraduates were inducted.

Programs

Each year, the Sigma Circle sponsors three leadership award programs including the Top Ten Freshmen, Sophomore Leader of the Year, and the Col. J. Logan Schutz Omicron Delta Kappa Leader of the Year award. Additional yearly traditions of the Sigma Circle include co-sponsoring the Calvert Cotillion spring dance and the annual campus awards banquet. Also, at each Maryland Day (a campus open house for more than 80,000 visitors and community members), the Sigma Circle sponsors a game for kids at the ODK Fountain. Each year, the Sigma Circle also co-sponsors a Leadership Lecture Series, with speakers like Nate Silver and Paul Farmer.

Honors and Awards

The Sigma Circle is a Circle of Distinction, as named by ODK National. Additionally, In the academic year of 2013-2014, the Sigma Circle was awarded a Clay Grant, which helped fund the launch of Terps Mentoring Terps, a mentoring program pairing up ODK members with freshmen on campus. Also, an ODK Officer in 2013-2014, Chris Riley, was a Foundation Scholarship recipient and was a finalist for the National ODK Leader of the Year, representing the pillar of scholarship.

2013 Circle of Distinction

2014 Superior Circle

2015 Presidential Circle of Excellence

2016 Presidential Circle of Excellence

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