OXFORD, Miss. – Douglas Odom, a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi, has been recognized as an Omicron Delta Kappa Circles’ Leader of the Year.
Each year, ODK chapters nominate an exceptional leader from their circle to be considered for the General Russell E. Dougherty National Leader of the Year award, which is given to a student who has shown the greatest dedication to all five phases of campus life. Each nominee is recognized as a Circles’ Leader of the Year.
This year, 35 schools nominated leaders for the award. Of those, one was named National Leader of the Year and five leaders were chosen in the phases of campus life categories: creative and performing arts; campus and community service; athletics; scholarship; and journalism, speech and mass media. Odom, who earned a bachelor’s degree in English and classics in May, was recognized for scholarship.
“There are many students who are called leaders because they were on the winning end of a successful political campaign or because they win popularity contests,” said Sparky Reardon, UM dean of students. “That is not Doug Odom’s style. He leads with humility because it is the right thing to do. He believes that he ought to do what ought to be done, but would not be done unless he did it. That is Doug Odom’s style.”
Ryan Upshaw, ODK adviser and assistant dean for student services in the School of Engineering agreed, saying “The University of Mississippi needs more students like Doug Odom.
“I have had the unique opportunity to know him since he was a senior in high school. Not only is he a gentleman and a scholar, but he possesses a servant heart not found in many young people. His humble leadership is contagious. It was a pleasure to nominate him for this award and to serve as adviser while he served as co-president. He absolutely represents the ideals of Omicron Delta Kappa society.”
Odom, 22, son of Doug and Walterine Odom of Jackson, said he is “extremely honored” by the award.
“It’s humbling because there are so many other students who could have been nominated,” he said. “Words cannot explain how honored I am to have been chosen to represent the university.”
As a Circles’ Leader, Odom received a $1000 graduate scholarship and a $300 grant for the Ole Miss ODK chapter.
While at UM, Odom was a mentoring member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and a member of the UM Judicial Council, ASB Judicial Council, Senior Class Executive Committee, Chancellor’s Standing Committee: Lecture Series and UM Big Event Executive Committee.
He was co-president of ODK, co-director of the Big Event and community service chair of the Columns Society. He has been listed on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll every semester, and his scholarships include National Merit Finalist, Luckyday Merit, Chancellor’s, Honors College and Classics Department. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society, Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board. This spring, Odom was one of 10 seniors named to the 2012-13 Hall of Fame, the university’s highest honor, and was awarded a Marcus Elvis Taylor Memorial Medal, the university’s highest academic award.
Besides his work with the Big Event, Odom’s volunteer efforts include Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity and Leap Frog.