Ninety-eight years ago, in Reid Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, an “idea” was introduced for the first time: “The ODK Idea.”
“First…to recognize those who have attained a high standard of efficiency in collegiate activities…to inspire others to strive for conspicuous attainment along similar lines.
Second…to bring together the most representative [individuals] in all phases of collegiate life…
Third…bring together members of the faculty and student body of the institution on a basis of mutual interest and understanding (emphasis added).”
To suggest that the ODK Idea has persevered is a sore understatement. The Idea has grown; the Idea has spread; the Idea has inspired.
Our Society’s 15 Founders – James Edwin Bear (student), William Moseley Brown (student), Carl Shaffer Davidson (student), Edward Parks Davis (student), Edward A. Donahue (student), Dr. De la Warr Benjamin Easter (Professor of Romance Languages), James Carl Fisher (student), Phillip Pendleton Gibson (student), T. M. Glasgow (student), Professor David Carlisle Humphreys (Dean of the School of Engineering), Rupert Nelson Latture (student), John Eppes Martin (student), William Caufield Raftery (student), John Purver Richardson (student), Dr. Henry Louis Smith (President of Washington and Lee University) – might only have dreamed that their Idea would have spread to 300 college campuses and included nearly 300,000 members 98 years after our founding.
Our Founders conceived an Idea and built a Society as unique 98 years ago as it is today.
Today, we honor our Founders for the Idea that recognized each of our individual achievements and brought us together as stewards of their Idea – our Idea – the ODK Idea.