Omicron Delta Kappa Recognizes Scholarship & Leadership

ODK Large LogoOmicron Delta Kappa is a national leadership honor society that recognizes, what I would like to call the “crème de la crème” of Oglethorpe students, faculty, staff, and honoris causa members. ODK was founded on December 3, 1914 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington,Va. and has been expanding ever since.

Membership in the society is an honor awarded to students of junior and senior status who place in the top 35% of their class. In addition to exceptional scholarship, potential members must be a leader in at least one of the five main phases of college life: athletics, campus or community service, scholarship, social and religious activities and campus government; journalism, speech, and the mass media, and creative and performing arts.

Brittney Blalock '14, ODK President

Brittney Blalock ’14, ODK President

Last December, multiple new members were initiated during the annual Boar’s Head Ceremony, including: Tirzah Brown ’14, Kirsten Glaeser ’14, Kendall Burke ’13, Krista Gray ’14, Jeet Budha Magar ’13, Marisa Manuel ’13, Justin Munson ’14, Corey Ray ’14, Caitlyn Mitchell ’13, Lindsey Mitchell ’13, Kate Siess ’14, alumnus Eli Arnold ’06, board members Arnie Sidman and Jim Hagalow, faculty member Dr. Mario Chandler, and staff member Katie Paden.

Each year, O∆K sponsors five main events: Geek Week, a plant fundraiser, the Boar’s Head Ceremony, a leadership workshop, and the Last Lecture. For those of you who are Oglethorpe veterans, you are very familiar with these O∆K traditions. For those of you who aren’t, just give it some time. You will see the flyers soon enough.

Ali Hadd_s

Alexandria Ree Hadd ’13, pictured with President Schall at the 2013 Commencement, was among only 20 students nationwide who were awarded a 2013 O∆K Foundation Scholarship. From Fort Myers, Fla., Ali double majored in Psychology and Mathematics. She was active on campus, serving as an R.A. and active in O∆K, APO and Psi Chi. Ali is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology at Vanderbilt University.

As O∆K’s newly elected president, I am looking forward to the Boar’s Head Ceremony the most. Between my love for the Christmas season and O∆K itself, the ceremony has proven to be one of my favorite experiences at OU. Last but not least, be sure to mark your calendars! The annual plant fundraiser will be held in the new Turner Lynch Campus Center on Tuesday, September 3 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Please be sure to stop by and support O∆K.

If you are a junior or senior and believe that you have what it takes to be a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, applications are now available. I encourage everyone to apply! If you are interested in O∆K and would like more information, you may contact me, Kendra Hunter, or Dr. John Nardo. O∆K is not only an honor but a wonderful opportunity that will allow you to advance your leadership abilities in ways that you would never imagine.

Applications are due by September 13, 2013.

Day of Service Celebrates Extraordinary Alumnus Fred Agel ’52

Mr. Fred Agel '52 (center) is surrounded by Day of Service volunteers, gathered in his honor.

Chances are that you’ve met Fred Agel ’52, a devoted alumnus, loving family member, and incredibly generous personhe is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and the Board of Trustees, and you can often find him volunteering his free time in the library archives.  November 19th was a special day for Fred, who celebrated his 85th birthday with friends, family… and a big surprise.  To honor Fred and show how much they love and appreciate him, his entire family planned a Day of Service volunteer event with the OU community at Books for Africa.

“I hoped that we could find a way to work through OU since it has been, and continues to be, such an important part of my father’s life,”  said Laurie Agel Amerson, Fred’s daughter. “I believe that my entire family has watched my father’s community service, and each and every one of us finds a way to be involved in our communities. He taught by example the importance of giving back, and three generations later, he is still teaching.”

The volunteer event on February 16th brought together more than 40 students, alumni, Center for Civic Engagement staff, and friends of Mr. Agel. Members of the newly established Thornwell Jacobs Society were especially excited to join in, as the project not only highlighted their goals of integrity, initiative, and perseverance, but took place during Thornwell Jacobs’ birthday weekend.

“Celebrating Fred Agel is celebrating Oglethorpe,” said Ruwa Romman ’15, historian of the Jacobs Society. President Antonio Mantica ’15 said with a smile that, if Fred were a sophomore, he would be a prime candidate for membership in the Society. 

In addition to the Day of Service, several departments have sent Fred thank you cards, and the baseball team (of which Fred is a former member) has given Fred a baseball, signed with all of the players’ names.

“This is a great way to celebrate his legacy,” said Heather Staniszewski ’02, assistant director of the Center for Civic Engagement, who helped plan the event. “It’s exciting to see family, alumni, and students working together in his honor.”

“The day was a huge success,” added Laurie.  “My dad spent a lot of time just looking at everybody working and sorting books with a big smile on his face.  The most wonderful thing for me was seeing all four generations of my family working side-by-side with OU students.”

If you would like to participate in future service projects, contact Heather Staniszewski.

Omicron Delta Kappa National Conference Gathers Student Leaders

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) is a national leadership honor society. Jef Palframan ’13 is the current student president of Oglethorpe’s ODK Circle, which was founded 36 years ago.

I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about attending the 2012 Omicron Delta Kappa National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. this past summer. I, like probably every conference attendee, was intimidated about how I would fit in with some the best and brightest students in the United States. The ODK conference was replete with the future innovators, scholars and leaders who will make a difference in the world for decades to come. Fortunately, I can report that the 2012 ODK National Conference was an engaging, motivating event that showcased the quality of leadership that ODK as an organization embodies and fosters.

In all, more than 200 delegates from almost 30 states attended the conference. The national convention is required every two years in order to ratify any changes that the National Board of ODK has approved. ODK National President Betsy Holloway reported that ODK initiated 15 new circles, and 2800 new members. These increases represent the largest growth in the organization’s history. As well, ODK set a new record in fundraising for scholarships for student members, and announced a new partnership with Nationwide Insurance.

Most exciting, the national branding initiative was announced. In the past, national guidance on official representation of the ODK logo has been undefined. The new logo, seen below, is sleek, simple and dignified. We are looking forward to implementing the new logo anywhere we can.

Besides the new initiatives and announcements, the greatest benefit of attending the conference was the opportunity to share the challenges that our respective circles face. Participation, fundraising, and member selection are some of the common challenges for circles across the country. It was invaluable to hear how others have implemented creative and innovative solutions to these challenges. This experience will allow the Oglethorpe Circle of ODK to improve our effectiveness and make our circle even more vital to the leadership culture on campus.

The conference concluded with a celebratory awards dinner that rewarded those members who had made inspiring contributions to their respective communities and ODK at large. This year’s recipient of the Crown Laurel Circle Award was Col. Ralph Hauenstein who was given the award on the eve of his 100th birthday. Col. Hauenstein served his nation in the European theater under General Dwight Eisenhower as head of intelligence. His service to ODK and his nation was rousing and exemplifies the values of our organization.

For those who are unfamiliar with our organization, ODK is the only national leadership honor society in the United States that focuses specifically on leadership. Induction into the ODK circle is considered one of the highest honors that a student can attain while at Oglethorpe University. ODK is highly selective and only the top 35 percent of students based on GPA are permitted to compete for membership. ODK inducts only one to three percent of the student body per academic year. Initiates are drawn from all pillars of campus life according to the ODK charter; those pillars are scholarship, athletics, campus and community service, journalism, and creative and preforming arts. If you are interested in ODK membership feel free to contact me at jpalframan@oglethorpe.edu to learn more.