O∆K Announces 2014 Pillars of Leadership Recipients

The Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation recently announced its intention to create a new award--one that honors alumni who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in one of the Society's five pillars of leadership:

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Campus or Community Service, Social and Religious Activities, and Campus Government
  • Journalism, Speech and Mass Media
  • Creative and Performing Arts

The Pillars of Leadership Awards will be formally announced at this year's National Convention and Centennial Celebration.

"We look across the country and see so many O∆K alumni who have taken what they learned as student leaders on their college campuses and have expanded upon it to create lasting change in their area of influence," said Tara Singer, executive director of Omicron Delta Kappa. "They're living the O∆K Idea every day."

This year's Pillars of Leadership Award recipients are:

Sally Albrecht
Composer, Musician, and Performer
Rollins College Circle (1975)

Michael G. Riley
CEO and Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Wake Forest University Circle (1981)

Larry J. Sabato
Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Political Science
University of Virginia Circle (1972)

Quinton D. Studer
Founder, Studer Group, Inc.
University of West Florida Circle (Fall 2014)

Patricia S. Summitt
Head Coach Emeritus, Lady Volunteers Basketball Team
University of Tennessee Circle (1978)

Board of Directors Provisionally Approves 2024 Long Range Plan

Omicron Delta Kappa's Board of Directors has announced the preliminary approval of a 10-year long range plan, "ODK 2024: Leading for Our Second Century." The plan will be officially adopted at the 2014 National Convention and Centennial Celebration.

At the summer 2013 meeting of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society Board of Directors, the Long Range Planning Steering Committee met for the first time and adopted seven strategic priorities:

  • Strategic Priority 1: Increase membership and enhance member participation
  • Strategic Priority 2: Advance leadership education
  • Strategic Priority 3: Develop strategic alliances
  • Strategic Priority 4: Strengthen and leverage existing programs of promise and distinction
  • Strategic Priority 5: Diversify and increase revenue
  • Strategic Priority 6: Recruit and retain great personnel and volunteers
  • Strategic Priority 7: Increase charitable resources

During the following nine months, dozens of national volunteer leaders from across the country--members of the Board of Directors, Foundation Board of Trustees and National Advisory Council-- worked with staff to develop initiatives, action items and metrics for each of the seven strategic priorities.

The plan was intentionally developed with a decade-long lens. ODK'’s Long Range Plan, "“ODK 2024: Leading for Our Second Century”," outlines the initiatives and action steps the Society will implement over the next decade, acknowledging that items may need to be revisited and adjusted over time. The Board of Directors anticipates that the core strategic priorities will largely remain unchanged.

The Board of Directors provisionally adopted a draft of the long range plan on April 8, 2014. The plan will continue to be refined going into this June's National Convention, with initiative managers being identified and metrics being developed to gauge the plan'’s progress.

A draft is available online. ODK 2024 will be formally unveiled at the Biennial Convention and Centennial Celebration scheduled for June 12-14, 2014 in Lexington, Va.

April 9, 2015: National Day of Service

To inspire service to our community, OΔK hosts a National Day of Service each year. In 2015, OΔK’s National Day of Service will be held Thursday, April 9.

There are three ways your Circle can get involved and give back:

  • Volunteer individually or as a group with an established nonprofit
  • Plan and execute a small-scale service project that members of your Circle can complete together
  • Plan and execute a campus-wide service project that is open to participants who are not members of OΔK

Learn more about ways your circle can support OΔK’s National Day of Service.

ODK Bracketology

ODK 2015 March Madness

It's the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the unveiling of ODK's annual bracket for the men’s NCAA basketball championship!

I’ve been sharing the ODK bracket since I became National President in 2012. My logic in picking the winners in the bracket is pretty simple – ODK always wins.



Here’s how it works:

If a campus has a circle of ODK, they win.

If both campuses have a circle, the campus with the oldest circle wins.

It’s that simple.

I should note that in 2013, I accurately picked Louisville to win it all. I should also note that that same year we hired a Louisville alum, Dr. Tara Singer, as ODK’s new Executive Director. It was a good year to be associated with Louisville.

So, without further ado…here’s this year’s ODK Bracket…

Congratulations Davidson; sorry Kentucky (now, that would be something!!).

Friday Fusion: The Best and Worst of Travel

Between Friday, Feb. 19 and Monday, March 2, I spent 11 days on the road.  I've also been in out and of the Charlotte airport several times; however, there is no truth to the rumor that we are going to be setting up a satellite office in a concourse there.  There was even one night when I got to join a lot of other weary travelers and slept on the floor.

As anyone who travels knows, there is a lot that can go wrong.  Flight cancellations, weather in general and misplaced luggage (which eventually came back - both times).  However, travel can also provide some wonderful opportunities to meet people and to learn about their leadership journeys.

Working backwards in my schedule, I spent time last Sunday with Betsy and Bill Johnston in Bradenton, Fla.  Bill is a former O∆K Foundation President and was the 2014 recipient of our Laurel Crowned Circle Award.  Bill was given this award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership as a businessman, educator and philanthropist.  Bill and Betsy are also the  founders of the Johnston Challenge which matches gifts over $25 or more from new donors and has secured support from 500 individuals to date.


I spent the earlier part of the weekend in the greater Miami area visiting Foundation Trustee Sally Jones Hill  and attending the drive-in workshop at the University of Miami in Coral Gables.  Steve Priepke, Nicole Garcia, Matt Barnes and Dillon Knop all did a great job in hosting the workshop which also included members from the Florida Southern College and Florida Atlantic University circles.  The folks from Florida Southern drove nearly five hours, each way, to participate.  Wow!  Cie Chapel, a member of our National Advisory Council, also joined us for part of the program, and O∆K member and Miami's Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Patricia Whitely, was the keynote speaker.

Earlier in the week, I had the great pleasure of serving as the installing officer of our newest circle at Idaho State University.  ISU makes the 294th active circle of our organization.  Brooke Barber, Jake Johnson and Lowell Richards, along with their students, were tremendous hosts.  I was most impressed to learn about their efforts with Benny's Pantry, and it was great to meet the students who were the circle's intentional representatives of the five phases of collegiate leadership.  isu

I also had the chance to visit with two of O∆K's supporters over that trip including the benefactor of our New York Times in Leadership initiative.   In FY 2016, we intend to provide access to this platform to the first 100 circles that express an interest in the case studies, selected readings and videos offered.

As I have written in this post, I have been chronicling my trip backwards; so, I am now at the beginning.

On Friday, Feb. 19, I woke up at 2:30 a.m., got in my car at 4:12 a.m. (and the temp said 1 degree) and drove to the airport in Charlottesville.  After flying across the country, I was picked up by Ben and Alexa from the University of Tacoma Washington Circle.  This circle was installed in 2013 by National Vice President Michelle Burke.

My hosts took me on a great tour of the campus which has primarily been built into the old industrial buildings in downtown Tacoma.  There's even a railroad cross light right outside of the business school.  The members of the circle also took me to the "Giving Garden" supported by O∆K at the school which provides food for Tacoma 's  Good   Neighbor Café, a facility providing breakfast and dinner to homeless and low-income individuals.

That evening, I spoke at the initiation ceremony for the spring 2015 inductees of the circle.  It was such an impressive group of current and new members, and their commitment to sustainability and social justice was evident.  The other speaker was a gentleman named Mike Johnson who coordinates the Climbing Out of Homelessness project in Tacoma.     Part of my speech focused on transformational leadership, and Mike's work is definitely the embodiment of that.





I  was  with the members of the circle until nearly 10:00 p.m. (PST); 1:00 a.m. (EST).  However, as the photo shows, I was having a great time with our collegiate leaders.  Omicron Delta Kappa is fortunate to have the participation of not only the best students on the planet, but also some of the simply best people.







A few final thoughts about my recent journeys:

  1. It truly is a small planet: part one.  During the trip, Sally Jones Hill and I realized that her father was the Commandant of Cadets at Virginia Tech when my father was an undergraduate there.
  2. It is truly small planet: part two.  When I was at dinner one night in Florida, I heard someone mention Louisville (my hometown).  As it turned out, that person was one of my father's students at the University of Louisville.
  3. It is important to be patient, kind and adaptable when traveling in the winter months. There were definitely lots of leadership opportunities provided to the individuals in the airline industry in recent days.
  4. It is important to have goals. One of mine is to see all 50 of the United States.  The trip to Idaho got me to 48.  North Dakota and Hawaii are the only two remaining.  We had a circle at one time at the University of Hawaii, and I hope an institution in North Dakota will express interest in O∆K one day!

May each member of our organization have a warm and cozy weekend, and I hope that all of your journeys, leadership journeys or otherwise, are as enriching as those provided that I have experienced.  Just be sure to be safe getting wherever it is you are going and enjoy the best of life's travels.