About the Circle
The Sigma Circle of OΔK was founded on February 2, 1927, by six men who immediately began tapping undergraduate members of OΔK. Formerly, men knew that they were being considered for OΔK if they were invited to the Calvert Cotillion in December. Their formal initiation would occur at a convocation in the Spring.
Many famous people have been initiated into Sigma Circle, some as student and faculty members, others as Honorary members. Some of Sigma Circle’s famous members include President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vice President Alben W. Barkley, the Earl of Halifax, Admiral Stansfield Turner, and Congressman Steny Hoyer.
Sigma Circle is very proud of its long and proud history. It originated the Annual Awards Banquet; awards an annual scholarships to ODK leaders; selects the “Top Ten Freshmen” and the “Sophomore Leader of the Year;” and with the help of alumni donations constructed the OΔK Fountain on McKeldin Mall, which was built to create a lasting monument to leadership and to those who have contributed so much to the campus. All of the names of those people involved with OΔK since 1927 are engraved on the granite sides of the OΔK Fountain, which was dedicated in April 1997.
During the academic year, the Sigma Circle holds monthly meetings with full membership and bi-weekly meetings with the ten officers. Selection and Initiation are held once each semester.
Each year, the Sigma Circle sponsors three leadership award programs including the Top Ten Freshmen, Sophomore Leader of the Year, and the Col. J. Logan Schutz Omicron Delta Kappa Leader of the Year award. Additional yearly traditions of the Sigma Circle include co-sponsoring the annual campus awards banquet. Also, at each Maryland Day (a campus open house for more than 80,000 visitors and community members), the Sigma Circle sponsors a game for kids at the ODK Fountain. Each year, the Sigma Circle also co-sponsors a Leadership Lecture Series, with speakers like Nate Silver, Paul Farmer, and Van Jones.
Honors and Awards
2022 Presidential Award of Excellence
2021 Presidential Award of Excellence
2020 Presidential Award of Excellence
2019 Presidential Award of Excellence
2018 Membership Growth & Stability Award
2018 Presidential Circle of Excellence
2017 Presidential Circle of Excellence
2016 Presidential Circle of Excellence
2015 Presidential Circle of Excellence
2014 Superior Circle
2013 Circle of Distinction
The Sigma Circle is a Circle of Distinction, as named by ODK National. Additionally, In the academic year of 2013-2014, the Sigma Circle was awarded a Maurice A. Clay Leadership Development Initiative Grant, which helped fund the launch of Terps Mentoring Terps, a mentoring program pairing up ODK members with freshmen on campus. Another Maurice A. Clay Leadership Development Initiative Grant was received in 2020-2021 to provide a LinkedIn Workshop to enhance our ODK members profiles.
The Sigma Circle has been honored to host a number of National ODK Leader of the Year finalists and recipients.