Omicron Delta Kappa was founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee University. The Society recognizes student achievement in five distinct areas: academics and research, athletics, communications, creative and performing arts, and service to campus or community. Membership in ODK includes student leaders from each of these phases of college life. The Furman circle of ODK was added to the national registry in 1981. ODK circles also include faculty and staff members who were inducted into ODK as undergraduates at Furman or other institutions. ODK is a distinctive leadership society and is often referred to as the “Phi Beta Kappa” for student leadership.


To be eligible for membership in the Furman Circle of ODK, students must:

  • be in the top 35% of class in academic standing
  • be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior
  • Have attained distinction in one or more of the five noted areas of campus life (academics and research/athletics, communications/creative and performing arts/and service to campus or community)


The nomination process for membership selection for the Furman Circle of ODK occurs during spring term and is completed by the current Furman Circle Membership. New members are notified in June and the induction Ceremony is held the Friday of Family Weekend in the fall semester.

Circle Activities

  • Service Projects
  • ODK National Conference and Scholarship Opportunities
  • Annual Faculty / Student Breakfast
  • Annual presentation of the Reid and Babb Memorial Awards to outstanding male and female leaders from each class