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:
- 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:
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)
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.
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.
One of the most interesting books that I read in graduate school was The Quickening of America: Rebuilding Our Nation, Rebuilding Our Lives by Paul Martin Du Bois. It's a wonderful guide that helps individuals and communities evaluate and understand how leadership and personal involvement does make a difference. Individual leadership and investment in our families, work environments, civic and community organizations, and governments promotes positive social change. Du Bois calls upon all individuals to engage with others, at a grassroots level, to advance a greater good. He writes about democracy at the personal level.
Jesse Chen, co-founder and CEO of Powerline and a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society Board of Directors, is a great advocate for one might call everyday and personal democracy. His company has developed an app to facilitate the work of what one might call "community organizers," and Jesse has long been recognized for interest in advancing the democratic process in our country - even since his days a member of the Sigma Circle at the University of Maryland College Park.
Earlier this year, Jesse had the opportunity to share his observations and thoughts on democracy at Loyola University Marymount's TEDx event. According to the introduction for his speech, Jesse "revisions a 'new power' infrastructure for democracy that will challenge leaders of organizations, communities, and governments to more authentically represent their constituents." It's a great topic for further discussion by members of our circles and with other leaders in our communities.
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.