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Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society accepting applications

Emory's circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, is accepting applications through Nov. 1. Unlike similar societies that limit membership to undergraduates, ODK is also open to graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni.

"ODK believes that a diverse cross-section of the campus community strengthens each circle and allows students to learn from people in different stages of life," the group notes. "Another very unique component of ODK, specifically on Emory’s campus, is that it is one of the few selected honor societies recognized at graduation."

ODK recognizes achievement in five areas of campus life:

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Campus or community service, social or religious activities, and campus government
  • Journalism, speech and mass media
  • Creative and performing arts

This year, Emory's Omicron Delta Kappa is working specifically to expand its membership to include graduate students from across the University.

“Graduate students make up almost half of the University, and more importantly many work hard both in and out of the classroom just like our undergraduate members," says Justin Sia, ODK vice president-at-large and a senior at Emory College. "These student leaders deserve to be recognized for their work just as we do.”

Minimum qualifications for membership include the following:

  • Applicants must be juniors and seniors (by year, not credits) or graduate/professional school students.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6 (unrounded) or above as of Oct. 1
  • Exemplary character, a track record of significant and responsible leadership and service, and genuine engagement in the Emory community.

Interested applicants should send an updated resume to, as well as complete the online application form.

Omicron Delta Kappa was founded over 100 years ago at Washington and Lee University by a group of 15 students and faculty who believed leadership should be recognized and encouraged across all phases of campus life. In 1914, these individuals came together to form the first circle of ODK, inspired by the idea that scholarship alone didn’t constitute success.

Eleven years later, on Jan. 24, 1925, Emory installed its own circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, making it the 12th university in the United States to welcome the honor society to its campus. Today, there are over 285 active ODK circles across the United States with over 325,000 national members recognized for scholarship, leadership and service to their campus communities.

Naveed Noordin, current Emory ODK president, says membership in Omicron Delta Kappa has been a very meaningful aspect of his college career.

“ODK is very significant for me because it gives me a chance to connect with accomplished student leaders within the Emory community as well as nationally," Noordin says. "Plus, at the end of the day, it serves as a good motivation and incentive to continually develop and enhance my leadership skills.”

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