Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society celebrates 100th anniversary

University of Miami women's basketball Coach Katie Meier signs the ODK initiation roll book. // Courtesy UMiami ODK
University of Miami women’s basketball Coach Katie Meier signs the ODK initiation roll book. // Courtesy UMiami ODK

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), a national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni, is celebrating its 100th anniversary Wednesday. During the celebration, ODK will be honoring new members at an initiation and centennial celebration.

The Dec. 3 date was selected for the event because ODK was founded on Dec. 3, 1914 at Washington and Lee University.

Each year, new members are inducted into the society during tapping ceremonies around campus, marked by the ringing of the ODK bell as new members are tapped.

Members of UM’s ODK chapter range from President Donna E. Shalala and Dr. Pat Whitley to newly tapped juniors and seniors. This year’s class includes women’s basketball coach Katie Meier.

Meier is in her tenth year as head coach at UM and has received multiple awards for her leadership and dedication, including being named Associated Press National Coach of the Year in 2011 and being recognized as co-recipient of the 2013 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award.

The society recognizes achievement in five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus/community service, social/religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts. It brings together leaders on campus exhibiting high standards in all sectors of collegiate life.

“Leadership is helping others achieve a common goal through empowerment, ethical decision making and determination,” said Nicole Garcia, president of the chapter. “It’s a reflective process that requires a clear vision, creativity, transparency and a great sense of humor.”

Senior Geisy Sanz was humbled when inducted as a class of 2014 tappee.

“I’ve been involved in student life for most of college, but I’m not the typical super outgoing leader,” Sanz said. “I kind of just do my own thing, so it was very humbling to see my efforts recognized and supported by so many.”

This year, Garcia has focused on making headway with celebrating the tradition and longevity of Omicron Delta Kappa during its anniversary.

“It’s been important to engage with campus and recognize the incredible leaders that make an impact on our campus every day,” she said. “I think this year we’ve been successful in that, having doubled our new member nominations, increased our social media presence and started new traditions for our circle.”

Omicron Delta Kappa headquarters selected the University of Miami chapter to host the ODK Drive-In meeting in February. This event allows members to network with students, faculty and alumni.