MTSU’s ODK earns national Presidential Circle of E...

MTSU’s ODK earns national Presidential Circle of Excellence award

MTSU’s Omicron Delta Kappa chapter recently was recognized with the national honor society’s 2016-17 Presidential Circle of Excellence. It is the first award of this caliber for the campus chapter.

ODK comprises more than 300 chapters nationally, and the MTSU circle was one of only a handful to be selected for the special honor by the ODK board of directors.

ODK, the National Leadership Honor Society, recognizes and encourages superior leadership and exemplary character. ODK encourages collaboration among members across the five phases celebrated by the organization: scholarship, athletics, service, communications and arts.

Dr. Philip Phillips, Susan Lyons and Matthew Hibdon are shown with national ODK Presidential Circle of Excellence award.

MTSU Honors College Associate Dean Philip Phillips, left, Honors events and Omicron Delta Kappa membership coordinator Susan Lyons and Matthew Hibdon, national headquarters liaison, pose with the certificate indicating MTSU’s ODK status as 2016-17 Presidential Circle of Excellence recipient. (MTSU photo by Marsha Powers)

Founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, ODK honors and develops leaders through scholarships, workshops, career opportunities, leadership resources and a lifelong connection to other members.

To learn more about the MTSU chapter, which is housed in the University Honors College, visit

The certificate sent to MTSU reads: “By virtue of exceptional performance in accordance with the national standards of Omicron Delta Kappa, the circle at Middle Tennessee State University is recognized as a 2016-17 Presidential Circle recipient.”

“This is the top level of award that is given to a circle by ODK,” said Matthew Hibdon, a member who helped establish MTSU’s chapter in 2010 and who now serves as national headquarters liaison.

Matthew Hibdon

Matthew Hibdon

Hibdon, an MTSU alumnus (Classes of 2012 and ’14), is taking a director of leadership programs position at ODK’s national headquarters Tuesday, Sept. 5. His last day at MTSU will be Friday, Sept. 1.

The McMinnville, Tennessee, native has been on the ODK Membership and Circle Standards Committee since 2012 and served on the National Advisory Council from 2012 to 2014.

The MTSU circle has initiated 182 members since it’s chartering in 2010. Two initiations per year are held, one in November and one in April. MTSU ODK members actively participate in service projects throughout the year and attend meetings.

One project is an annual ODK True Blue Leadership Day, usually held in the spring.

ODK at MTSU is open to qualified juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty and alumni. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, Provost Mark Byrnes and Dr. Deb Sells, vice president of student affairs, are ODK members as is alumnus Bart Gordon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition to student officers, Honors College Dean John Vile is faculty adviser, associate dean Philip Phillips is circle coordinator, and honors events coordinator Susan Lyons is membership coordinator.

MTSU, Austin Peay State University and Belmont and Vanderbilt universities will collaborate to co-host the 2018 ODK biennial convention and leadership conference at Belmont — the 50th national convention of the organization, Hibdon said.

To apply for membership, visit

To learn more, call 615-898-5645 or email

— Randy Weiler (

Presidential Circle of Excellence certificate