Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) has been bringing together and
recognizing outstanding students for almost 100 years.
Founded at Lee University in 1914 ODK did not come to Simpson until
much later. It was officially chartered in May of 1990 at
“ODK is a national organization that recognizes students for
outstanding scholarship and leadership,” said Jim
Thorius, vice president for student
development and dean of students. “It is an honorary society
that recognizes student accomplishment both in the classroom and as
leaders on campus.”
ODK is unlike any other organization on campus.
“The goals of ODK are to bring together some the institution’s most
successful students who have attained a high standard of efficiency
in various activities,” junior and vice president of ODK Jesse Van
De Krol said.
Achievement in five separate areas is considered when looking at
“These are based on five major phases of being a college student,”
Van De Krol said. “They include scholarship; athletics, campus or
community service, social and religious activities and campus
government; journalism, speech and the mass media; creative and
These different areas are all included to benefit the group.
“The chapter has the goal of molding members of college and chapter
together in hopes of making each member a better leader and member
of society in the future,” senior and president of ODK Becky Pietig
Members of ODK give back to the Simpson campus through many
“One of my favorite things to do is the final’s study packages that
we make for students during finals week,” Van De Krol said. “The
whole process of making hundreds of them in just couple of hours is
entertaining and fun.”
ODK hosts an award banquet at the end of each year for a community
of leaders. Every club and organization is welcome to nominate one
of its members who show leadership in a specific area.
One new event for this year will be the Simpson Storm Leadership
Conference, which will be held Feb. 10.
“The goal is to bring
high school students who have been designated/chosen by
their high school’s administration as individuals
whom possess the skills and qualities of being a leader,” Van De
The Simpson Storm Leadership Conference will be much more than a
normal college visit.
“They will come to campus where they will attend various workshops
and lectures on becoming a leader of the future, as well as being
provided tours of campus and eating lunch with ODK members,” Van De
With the issue of recruitment and retention in mind, ODK came up
with the idea for this event.
“Ultimately, the goal is that through the conference and having a
more engaged experience with Simpson, they will more strongly
consider Simpson in their college selection process,” Van De Krol
Members will be able to use their different skills to help prepare
for the event.
“I designed the logo that is going to be used for the conference
and I will be helping out with a social media workshop,” senior
Paul Salais said.
Unlike other groups and organizations on campus, members of ODK are
invited to join instead of recruited.
Students who hold a certain GPA and show a large amount of
involvement on campus will receive an application.
The current members of ODK then look at the applications and award
students a certain number of points for their involvement and
decide who they want to invite to join.
With its newly initiated members ODK will have around 50
“It looks very good on your resume,” Pietig said. “It shows you
were really involved. You do a lot of good things for the
community, for Simpson College. It gives you a lot of extra
leadership experience as well, which is very helpful when going
into the real world.”
The members all enjoy it for what it means to be involved in
“I enjoy being part of something bigger than myself,” Van De Krol
said. “Being part of group of students who have been chosen by
fellow classmates as a leader at Simpson College means a lot.”
In its time at Simpson College, ODK has reached many different
“I think it’s a wonderful
organization and over its lifetime at Simpson I think we have
recognized the accomplishments of probably over 600
individuals,” said Jim Thorius, vice president for student
development and dean of students.