Omicron Delta Kappa follows the AP Style Guide and maintains its own brief editorial style guide as well. In cases where our editorial style guide differs from the AP Style Guide, please follow O∆K guidelines.
Omicron Delta Kappa may be referred to by its full Greek name or the Greek letters O∆K. When writing O∆K, please be sure to use the Greek letter for Delta “∆” and not the Roman letter “D.”
In legal documents, governing documents, and in relation to the Board of Trustees, the organization is to be referred to as Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Educational Foundation, Inc.
For press releases and correspondence to prospective members and institutions, O∆K may be referred to as Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.
In writing, O∆K may be referred to as the Society.
We do not capitalize nouns unless they are proper names. An exception is the word Society. If you refer to O∆K as the Society, you should capitalize Society. We do not capitalize the word founders, nor do we capitalize the word circle unless referring to a specific circle by its proper name.
Examples of Proper Nouns
ΟΔΚ Board of Trustees
Society (only in reference to Omicron Delta Kappa)
National Leadership Conference
Examples of Nouns and Terms that Should Not be Capitalized
national lifetime membership fee
national lifetime membership application
institutional membership fee
An individual circle may be referred to with its proper name and the word “Circle” capitalized (i.e., University of Louisville Circle). However, in reference to a non-specific circle, or in the case of a secondary reference to a named circle, the word “circle” should not be capitalized.
Use first and last name on first reference and last name only on second reference. Identify the circle and year of initiation for individuals if members of the Society. In cases where two people have the same last name, use first and last names on second reference. Use middle initials when the initials help identify a specific individual. Do not use the courtesy title “Dr.” except in direct quotes. The same is true for courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc. Use Mr. and Ms. only if they are needed to differentiate two people who have the same last name.
Rupert Latture (Washington and Lee University, 1914)
Titles are capitalized if they precede a name.
President and CEO Tara Singer
Titles are lowercased in all other cases.
Tara Singer is the president and chief executive officer of Omicron Delta Kappa.
When you refer to someone by the title of “Board Chair,” you should drop all other titles.
Board Chair Matthew W. Clifford
Not Board Chair Dr. Matthew W. Clifford
In ΟΔΚ publications, it is not necessary to identify a board chair as an ΟΔΚ board chair. It is implied that the writer is referencing a political office within ΟΔΚ.
Past board chairs are referred to as such. Use past instead of former. Do not capitalize past unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence. The same rule holds true for presidents.
Past Board Chair Matthew W. Clifford went to lunch.
The lunch was attended by past Board Chair Matthew W. Clifford.
Members are initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa, not inducted. It is an initiation ceremony, not an induction ceremony.
Use advisor with an ‘o’, not advisor with an ‘e.’
It’s Member-at-Large, not Member at Large.
Do not use ampersands (&) in body text. Use of ampersands in web-headers is acceptable.
We use the serial, or English, comma.
Students from Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana attended the leadership workshop.
Not Students from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana attended the leadership workshop.
Avoid the use of exclamation marks. Exclamation marks are rarely, if ever, called for in a professional setting.
Omicron Delta Kappa initiated 23 new members.
Not Omicron Delta Kappa initiated 23 new members!
Ellipses should be used only when indicating that there is a section of quoted text that has been removed.
Omicron Delta Kappa announces that its board meeting will be held in Lexington, Va.
Not Omicron Delta Kappa announces that its board meeting will be held in…Lexington, Va.
Spacing in between sentences should be limited to one space.
The National Leadership Conference is held annually. The location changes each year.
Not The National Leadership Conference is held annually. The location changes each year.
Abbreviate all months with more than five letters.
Jan., Feb., Mar., April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept. Oct., Nov., and Dec.
Jan. 1, 2015
May 1, 2015
If you’re using “from,” you must also use the word “to,” not an En dash.
From 1970 to 1972
April 10–12, 2012, is written with an En dash. There are no spaces on either side of the En Dash.
Spell out numbers less than 10. If the number falls at the beginning of a sentence, it is always spelled out, even if it is larger than 10.
In June, 26 delegates met in Washington, D.C.
In June, nine delegates met in Washington, D.C.
Twenty-six delegates met in Washington, D.C.
Don’t superscript numbers, even if Word autoformats them.
The 1st National Leadership Conference, not the 1st National Leadership Conference.
Reference all other colleges and universities according to their own style guides. Pay particular attention to colleges with multiple branches as there is no standard.
University of Maryland, College Park
The official name for a circle is:
[Greek Letters] Circle of the [University Name]
The Alpha Circle of Washington and Lee University
Keep in mind that circles established more recently do not have Greek letters, so their official names are:
The [University Name] Circle
On first reference, call the circle by its official name.
On second reference, you may call the circle either:
[Greek Letters] Circle or
the [University Name] Circle
The Alpha Circle is hosting a lecture.
The Washington and Lee University Circle is hosting a lecture.
Do not capitalize the word circle if it stands alone.
President and CEO Tara Singer will visit the Alpha Circle on Friday.
President and CEO Tara Singer will visit the circle on Friday.
The proper name of the conference is the [YEAR] National Leadership Conference. Capitalize the proper name of the conference. Lowercase if you’re using conference generically.
She will speak at the 2020 National Leadership Conference.
She will speak at the conference.
Board of Trustees
Omicron Delta Kappa’s governing body is a Board of Trustees, not a Board of Directors. Don’t use the names interchangeably. Only refer to the governing board by its proper name. People who sit on the Board of Trustees should be referred to as trustees.
Capitalize ΟΔΚ National Headquarters, as it is the proper name of headquarters. Lowercase ‘headquarters’ if used independently.
The event was held at ΟΔΚ National Headquarters.
He worked at headquarters for five years.
When sending press releases from your circle, please include the following paragraph:
Omicron Delta Kappa Society, the National Leadership Honor Society, was founded at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia on Dec. 3, 1914. A group of 15 students and faculty members established the Society to recognize and encourage leadership at the collegiate level. The founders established the O∆K Idea—the concept that individuals representing all areas of collegiate life should collaborate with faculty and others to support the campus and community. O∆K’s mission is to honor and develop leaders; encourage collaboration among students, faculty, staff, and alumni; and promote O∆K’s ideals of scholarship, service, integrity, character, and fellowship on college and university campuses throughout North America. The headquarters are located in Lexington, Virginia.