Last week, many members of Omicron Delta Kappa gathered in New Orleans while attending the 2015 annual meeting of NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education). It was a great opportunity to get caught up with numerous faculty officers from around the country and to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing the current generation of college students. More than 40 O∆K members gathered for our annual breakfast reception where National President, Dr. Michael Christakis, gave a brief “State of the Society” update.
During the course of the convention, Frank Krimowski, our leadership consultant, and I also held a number of meetings with individuals who are working to establish circles of Omicron Delta Kappa at their institutions. We visited with colleagues representing colleges and universities coast (New York) to coast (Oregon). Before the end of this academic year, we hope to install at least four more new circles.
One of the great things about visiting New Orleans is having the opportunity to enjoy the sites and sounds. I will confess to partaking in the wonders of Bourbon Street one evening and enjoying dueling pianos and torch singers. New Orleans music is a wonderful combination of jazz, blues and soul, and a song that I think perfectly embraces all of these genres is Etta James “At Last.”
“At Last” could have been the theme song last Monday evening when our newest circle, Loyola University New Orleans, was installed. National Vice President Michelle Burke was the installing officer. Society Board of Directors Matt Clifford and Ben Williams also joined Frank and me at the chartering ceremony.
The Loyola University New Orleans Circle, our 295th active circle, took a while to develop. Matt Hopper, our first O∆K Fellow, made a visit there several years ago as did other staff members. Frank and Brent Anderson worked closely with Heather Seaman, faculty secretary, and Caitlin Dobson, faculty advisor, in preparing for the circle’s chartering. It was also great to have the support of Dr. Cissy Petty, the institution’s vice president for student affairs and O∆K member, throughout the entire process.
At last, our circle has come along, and good things come to those who wait. Congratulations to the founding members of the Loyola University New Orleans Circle and thank you for your perseverance. This work has truly been an example of success achieved in a very worthy undertaking.