The Elon University Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa Society, Inc. was founded on December 4, 1977 as a leadership honor society with a threefold purpose:
- Recognize individuals who have attained a high standard of leadership in collegiate and/or community activities and to encourage them to aspire to higher achievements;
- Bring together the most representative individuals in all phases of collegiate life and thus to create an organization that will help to mold the sentiment of the institution on questions of local and intercollegiate interest;
- Bring together members of the faculty and student body of the institution, as well as other Omicron Delta Kappa members, on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and helpfulness.
Omicron Delta Kappa, The National Leadership Honor Society, is based on the idea that leadership of exceptional quality and versatility in college should be recognized. This is the goal of our circle. The Elon University Circle of ODK recognizes and encourages achievement in scholarship, athletics, campus government; journalism, speech, and the mass media; creative and performing arts. We have a desire to bring together all leaders in the various phases of college activities. In addition, continuous affiliation of faculty and administration members with our circle increases the stability and effectiveness of our Society.
Unlike other honor societies, ODK places emphasis upon the development of the whole person, both as a present member of his/her college community and as a prospective contributor to a better society. The Society believes that while good scholarship and intellectual development are the chief objectives of college years, the life of the mind is not the only life students will have to cope with as the result of their college experience. It is not enough to be merely a “scholar;” other indispensable qualities must also be cultivated. ODK believes that the real search for truth, the promotion of good will, the development of consideration and understanding, good taste, and a sense of honor, learning how to get along and cooperate with others, and the assumption of duty and responsibility, are important lessons and personal qualities which one learns and develops through an integrated program of academic and extracurricular education.