Purdue’s Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society searching for new members

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An esteemed national honor society, recognizing superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character, is about to add new members. Housed within the Purdue Honors College, Purdue’s chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (the Century Circle) is seeking nominations from undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated excellence in five areas:

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Creative and performing arts
  • Mass media, speech and journalism
  • Campus or community service, social or religious activities and campus governance

The more than 100-year-old honor society differs from other because—in addition to undergraduate students—membership is open to faculty, staff, alumni and graduate students.

“Omicron Delta Kappa connects our students to a deeply rich network of current and future leaders,” Honors College Dean and OΔK Faculty Advisor Rhonda Phillips said. “The intergenerational connections it forges will advance the scholarly and professional potential of all Purdue members.”

OΔK prides itself on recognizing a diverse cross-section of the campus community by identifying a wide range of deserving individuals, whose accomplishments may not be considered by other honor societies. While faculty and staff can make nominations, OΔK is also encouraging people to submit themselves for consideration.

“No honorary should assume it can recognize all the great success stories on campus,” said Terry Kungel, who was inducted in 1969 and has served as Purdue’s OΔK president. “An open application process ensures a fair and comprehensive process. It allows people to tell us their stories. Perhaps they’ve co-authored a peer review journal article, completed important work in a lab, developed a really cool smartphone app, competed at an international level in sports or had a remarkable performance on stage.”

Kungel currently serves on the national OΔK Foundation Board of Trustees and, alongside John Sautter, Dick Grace and Andrew Brown, officiated the spring 2016 induction of 34 new members at Purdue. The group of high-achievers includes 17 undergraduate students, eight graduate students, seven international students and seven Fulbright scholars. Omicron Delta Kappa was founded nationally in 1914 and Purdue’s chapter chartered in 1961. The society has a more than 50 year history in West Lafayette with nearly 1,700 Purdue alums. Nationwide, some 290,000 OΔK alums form the society’s close knit community.

Sahej Bains, Purdue’s current OΔK student president, believes OΔK’s networking opportunities are incomparable. She says they will help students develop academically, professionally and personally.

“We want that strong connection with the OΔK alumni,” Bains explained. “It’s one of the most important elements of OΔK. We can learn a lot from members who are in the fields we are pursuing and they are interested in helping us succeed.”

Many of Purdue’s OΔK alumni returned for a 2016 homecoming brunch, where they shared advice and stories of their career accomplishments. OΔK chapter members meet monthly during the academic year. They plan to start a newsletter to keep the campus and OΔK alumni informed about OΔK activities, like symposiums and service work. The newsletter will also be filled with student success stories.

“Hopefully, it will offer alums a chance to look at our students and perhaps offer jobs, internships or other developmental experiences,” Bains said.

Purdue’s chapter of OΔK is accepting applications now for the March 10, 2017 deadline. To submit your nomination, click here.

If you have additional questions about OΔK, please contact Purdue’s chapter coordinator Catharine Patrone at cpatrone@purdue.edu.