Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honorary on campus, has chosen 10 rising seniors to make up its next board of members for the 2019 – 2020 school year.
The new members will consist of juniors Henry Brink, Adam Buchmann, Luke Grzywacz, Christa LaVoie, Nathan Messiter, Esther Ritah Ogayo, Hadiah Ritchey, Emily Skwarek, Taylor Steyer, and Lukas Swenson.
Given the caliber of the students who apply for the honorary, board members had a tough time choosing the five men and five women who will replace the current circle, according to senior Ross Hatley, president of ODK.
“We always get tons of applications and the quality of those applications across the board are always very high,” Hatley said. “So that gives us the privilege of choosing amazing people but also the difficulty of having to pick just ten of all the excellent leaders here on campus.”
ODK is an honorary society composed solely of seniors who have distinguished themselves as leaders on campus. Its purpose is to recognize those who “have attained a high standard of efficiency in collegiate activities, and to inspire others to strive for conspicuous attainments along similar lines,” according to its constitution. Applicants apply in the fall semester of their junior year and, if chosen, are inducted the following spring semester.
This year’s circle consists of seniors Joshua Bailey, Andrew Berryhill, Thomas Ryskamp, Ross Hatley, Samuel Roberts, Shelby Bargenquast, Nour Ben Hmieida, Andie Chandler, Lucile Townley, and Rosemary Pynes.
Senior and ODK board member Samuel Roberts said that for the new members this semester, the honorary wanted to have the induction process at the beginning of the year to get them involved as soon as possible.
“We intentionally wanted to make initiation as close to the beginning of the year as possible so these people can become an active part of ODK,” Roberts said. “They can become involved in the activities this semester, they can help us plan, and they can be learning for next year.”
Hatley said ODK is primarily about mentorship and service — mentoring the rising leaders on campus and serving the community and campus at large.
“All of our projects are service-based, whether its looking to develop the next generation of leaders or reaching out to the community,” Hatley said.
Hatley went on to mention that while there is an “element of honor” in joining the organization, most students join for its purpose — service.
Last semester, ODK’s focus on mentorship took the form of organizing a leadership conference, and this semester, the honorary has big plans to collaborate with other student clubs and organizations.
For students interested in the honorary, Hatley’s advice is to get involved with an organization that you care about on campus and strive to make it better.
“Even in my four years here, I’ve been shocked and very pleasantly surprised with the degree that student life at Hillsdale has increased in its activity and sophistication,” Hatley said. “Campus culture has developed considerably and that’s in no small part due to the uncommon dedication and passion of the dozens of students here on campus. ODK is here just to honor and empower that.”