Every fall for the past decade, during Homecoming and Family Weekend at the University at Albany, I have had the pleasure of welcoming new initiates into Omicron Delta Kappa. This fall was no different. And yet, each fall, immediately following the induction ceremony, I am reminded of exactly how awesome (yes, I said “awesome”) our Society actually is.
At UAlbany, like many Circles around the country, the centerpiece of initiation ritual includes the reading of brief biographical sketches of the new inductees as they sign the Circle’s record book and are given the symbols of membership (eg: certificate and pin).
The UAlbany Circle welcomed 53 new initiates this fall. Fifty-three bright, hardworking, passionate campus leaders. Fifty-three of our campuses true shining starts. I could go on with clichés, but you get my point. As each inductee’s biography was recited, I couldn’t help but feel confident that our Society’s work continues to make a difference on college campuses around the country. We continue to honor – as our founders did almost 99 years ago – the college’s best and brightest.
These stories – the experiences of our newest members – are inspiring. The fact that we can honor (and attract) such talented men and women speaks volumes of ODK’s reputation and the reputation of our members.
I maintain that the truest evidence of our Society’s continued viability are the comments I overhear (and receive) at the reception following the induction ceremony from parents and our new members. They are “so impressed” with the quality and caliber of our students; they “can’t believe” how our students can do everything they do and maintain high academic standards; they admire ODK’s commitment to honor the co-curricular.
So here’s to another fall filled with inspiring initiations on college campuses nationwide with heartfelt congratulations and welcome to our newest members!