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2021 Superior Circle


The mission of Omicron Delta Kappa is to identify, honor, and develop leaders in collegiate and community life. O∆K encourages collaboration among students, faculty, staff, and alumni to advance leadership as well as promote, publicize, and enhance the society's ideals.

Leadership values highlighted by Omicron Delta Kappa are:

  • Collaboration – to work together to achieve a defined and common purpose
  • Inclusivity – to actively seek, embrace, and advance a diverse group of individuals
  • Integrity – to align one’s values and beliefs with behaviors and speech
  • Scholarship – to strive for excellence in academics and pursue lifelong learning
  • Service – to answer the call for action from one’s community or country

How To Join

To be accepted into Omicron Delta Kappa, you must meet the class and academic criteria and have demonstrated leadership on your campus or in your community.

Members of O∆K are selected and initiated by the local circles (chapters). Each circle has its own unique process for recruiting and initiating members based on national criteria.

  • If you have received an invitation from your circle, apply for membership.
  • To find out more about the local process, contact the circle.
  • Information about the initiation ceremony and ritual is located here. The lifetime initiation fee is $94.


Omicron Delta Kappa was founded on Dec. 3, 1914 on the campus of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA by a group of 15 students, faculty, and administrators who believed that leadership at the collegiate level should be recognized and encouraged across all phases of campus life. The motives which guided the founders sprang from the desire to bring together one body for the general good of the institution, leaders from all parts of the college or university community.

The success of the O∆K Idea, an essential part of which is its inter-generational nature and a determination to maintain a consistent and high standard of leadership recognition, led to the establishment of chapters, which we call circles, at other colleges.

Learn more about the history of the society here.

Awards sponsored by O∆K

Great Teacher Awards

co-sponsored with the UK Alumni Association

Each year, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association recognizes six professors for outstanding teaching and honors them with a plaque and a cash award at a recognition luncheon or dinner. It is the oldest continuously-given award for teachers at the University of Kentucky.

Since 1961, when the program was started, 308 faculty members have been honored. Recipients are selected by a committee appointed by the UK Alumni Association's Board of Directors and representatives of Omicron Delta Kappa.

Candidates must:

  • Hold the rank of full-time lecturer or above and have been a member of the UK faculty for the past three years.
  • Have superior knowledge of their subject matter.
  • Have original and innovative classroom presentations.
  • Demonstrate concern for students, both inside and outside the University setting.
  • Not have been a recipient of this award for the past ten years.
View past and current recipients

Maurice A. Clay Award

The Nu Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society established the Maurice A. Clay Award over twenty-five years ago. The award is named in honor of Dr. Clay who was an educator and professor at UK for more than 60 years. Dr. Clay was the epitome of service leadership, while assuming little recognition for himself.

This award recognizes an outstanding graduating senior in each academic college at UK, as selected by the Dean or the Dean’s representative. The basic criterion is a reflection of Dr. Clay's exceptional leadership and service to the student’s college while maintaining a strong academic record.

O∆K recognizes superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character.  The Clay Awards are one way in which the UK Circle and National Leadership Society can bestow on graduating seniors a “Mark of High Distinction."

View current and past recipients

Jerry D. Claiborne Award

This scholarship, in the amount of $600, is awarded to students who exemplify, through thoughts and actions, the character of Jerry D. Claiborne. He was most known for exhibiting compassion, leadership, humility, his love for mentoring students, and the highest integrity of character. To be eligible for this award, one must be a member of UK's Omicron Delta Kappa Circle, and be currently enrolled in a degree program.

Applications will open in early 2025.

View current and past recipients

Contact Us

Circle President:

Nora Sypkens  |

Circle Coordinator:

C. Lynn Hiler  |

Faculty Advisor:

Francisco Andrade  |

General Information:

Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence

Location Detail
224 Funkhouser Building