Clay Leadership Development Initiative

Guidelines for Applying for the Clay Grant

The 2013 Clay Grant application is closed.
The 2014 Clay Grant application will be open this fall. 

As a testament to the loyalty and dedication of Dr. Clay, the Maurice A. Clay Leadership Development Initiative exists to provide financial support to individual Circles seeking to establish specific programs to enhance leadership development on the campus and in the community.

To apply the Circle must be considered an active Circle. At a minimum the applying Circle should subscribe to The ΟΚ Idea, be initiating new members, paying all fees and filing appropriate paperwork in accordance with established deadlines (including submission of Annual Reports and submission of membership forms and fees no less than 14 days prior to each initiation ceremony). Further documentation concerning the Circle's current activities is welcome.

Presently, the largest grant will be $500.  Smaller grants may be requested. For the 2013 - 2014 academic year, 12 grants will be awarded to Circles. Circles that did not receive funding during the previous academic year will be given highest priority.

Funding for the Maurice A. Clay Leadership Development Initiative comes from interest earned on an Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation endowment set up for this purpose.

Those Circles who receive funding will be required to submit a complete report by December 1st of the year following their award. This will include submission of receipts for all funded expenditures and an article (with photographs) about the project or program suitable for publication in The Circle. Circles not submitting a complete report will be ineligible for future funding from the Clay Leadership Development Initiative.


Complete the application, in full, and submit it by November 1st to be considered for funding during the remainder of this academic year and through December of the following year. If you have questions, please contact the O∆K National Headquarters via  The selection committee will notify all applicants by December 1st of each year.  


2013 Clay Grant Recipients

Berry College

Berry College will use the funds to help put on the Berry Leadership Conference, completely with Keynote Speaker. The objective of the leadership conference is to prepare next year’s leaders with the tools needed to be successful in their various areas of campus involvement, and the conference will utilize the Social Change Module in it’s training.


Georgia State University

The grant will be used to sponsor the 3rd Annual President’s Brunch, which brings together leaders from all areas of campus life for brunch, roundtable discussion about student groups, and a leadership presentation by the assistant dean of student activities who is True Colors certified.


Hamline University

Hamline University will put on a Speed Mentoring event to help connect local alumni with current O∆K members and promote networking between student groups on campus.


Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is looking to fund an event called See the Need, Meet the Need: Mobilizing leaders to identify and solve community challenges. The event is aimed towards campus leaders in addressing the greater need for community engagement in the area, bridging the gap between the campus and the community.


Lincoln Memorial University

The grant will fund the Inaugural Presentation of the O∆K Leadership Lecture Series: A Visit With Jimmy Rose. As an extrapolation of LMU’s O∆K Leadership Breakfast Series, it is the goal of the LMU Circle of O∆K to bring models of leadership to the entire campus and community.


Stephen F. Austin State University

SFA is instituting a project called Building Leaders based off of the objectives to instill the five different levels of leadership from John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership to their preliminary members.


University of Maryland, College Park

UMD will implement a mentoring/shadowing program called Terps Mentoring Terps, where current O∆K members are paired up with members of the freshman class to promote underclassmen leadership.


University of Redlands

The University of Redlands is bringing O∆K Week to campus! Aiming to have events each day corresponding with the different pillars of leadership, the goal is to promote O∆K on campus and get the name back out about the rechartered circle.


University of Richmond

The grant will be used to sponsor the O∆K Faculty Member of the Year Banquet with Dr. Ayers. The O∆K Faculty Member of the Year award has been awarded since 1971 at the University of Richmond and has become recognized as one of the most prestigious awards the students award a faculty member, and they are looking to continue this tradition on campus.


Villanova University

The Alumni Network Welcome Reception will be the first official event the Villanova Circle plans to host for our alumni members to welcome them into the new alumni network the circle is building in the area.


William Peace University

William Peace will be holding The Triangle’s O∆K Centennial Celebration in an effort to recognize the national Centennial, introduce area professionals to the WPU campus and circle, and provide networking for current O∆K members with alumni.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

The grant will help the WPI circle plan its first ever TEDx talk scheduled for April. This is an independently organized program based off of the TEDTalks program, with the objective of stimulating dialogue between the top leaders on campus.


2012 Clay Grant Recipients 

Auburn University at Montgomery:

The Auburn University at Montgomery Circle will create two new awards: O∆K Freshman and Sophomore of the Year to recognize outstanding first and second year students for leadership that has been shown early in their undergraduate careers. The awards will help to encourage continued involvement at AUM, while also helping to promote involvement in O∆K.

Ball State University:

The Circle at Ball State University will hold an All-Campus Leadership Conference with the theme of “Promoting Yourself.  Promoting Your Organization.”  The conference will include a keynote speech by Chris Westfall and will provide campus leaders with the knowledge to greater apply their leadership skills in business and personal life. 

Florida International University:

In February, the Florida International Circle will hold a Student Leadership Summit Networking Breakfast on the Biscayne Bay Campus.  This Summit will allow students the opportunity to learn from many faculty and staff members how truly important the qualities of leadership, networking, and friendship are.

Hillsdale College:

Hillsdale College will hold an O∆K Senior Leadership Day in the hopes of fostering leadership within the Circle and greater campus community.  The event will host 30 local high school seniors on campus for a day and the program will focus on the importance of leadership. Hillsdale administrators, professors, and Circle members will lead the various sessions of the event.

Indiana State University:

The Indiana State University Circle will hold an O∆K Leadership Workshop to enhance the leadership skills among a variety of campus leaders.  Along with building leadership skills, the workshop hopes to establish networking connections between leaders in major student organizations on campus.

Neumann University:

The Circle at Neumann University will sponsor a Leadership Conference for Catholic High School students within the Tri-State area.  Twenty-five local high schools will be invited to send their best student leaders to attend a daylong leadership conference hosted by the Circle.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland:

St. Mary’s Circle will hold an O∆K Networking Tea, which will provide formal networking training to underclassmen students identified as strong potential candidates for O∆K membership.  After the presentation on the art of networking, students will then have the opportunity to apply their new networking skills with Circles members and one another.

SUNY Plattsburgh:

SUNY Plattsburgh’s O∆K Circle will hold four Eggs over Issues events spread throughout the academic year. Each breakfast will consist of focused discussion between involved student leaders and college administrators centered on a different campus or community issues.

Towson University:

Towson University will be holding a program titled Leveraging Your Leadership in the Workforce.  The program will help university students understand how leadership skills can be applied within the workforce after graduation.  Several Towson O∆K alumni will be asked to help facilitate the event.

University of Baltimore:

The Circle at the University of Baltimore will continue to renovate and re-dedicate the University 9/11 Memorial Garden in order to pay tribute to those alumni who lost their lives.  The garden had unfortunately gone uncared for and unnoticed for several years before the Circle began working to renovate it.  

University of Missouri – Kansas City:

The University of Missouri – Kansas City Circle has created a service project called Ronal McDonald House Holiday Helpers.  Circle members will cook and distribute food for the families of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City and help to spread Holiday cheer among the children.

Widener University:

Widener University will hold a Speed Networking Event to create an opportunity for undergraduate students to develop a network with O∆K alumni and University faculty/staff.  The event will allow connections to be made with individuals in the “real world” and will allow students the opportunity to get a head start in finding a job.  Student resume packets will be created to distribute to participating alumni and the exchange of business cards will be encouraged.   



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