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Honor Society Receives Highest Circle of Excellence

The SUNY Plattsburgh Omicron Delta Kappa received the Presidential Circle of Excellence, becoming the only chapter in the national leadership honor society to be recognized with the honor this year.

The award takes seven years to achieve and is only given to ODK chapters that have shown a history of success by earning Distinction honors for five consecutive years or Superior honors for three years. Plattsburgh has been ranked a Superior Circle for three years in a row and a Circle of Distinction for five years in a row.

Michael Cashman, the student activities coordinator and faculty secretary of the Plattsburgh chapter, said it takes strict attention to detail to achieve the accolade.

“If any piece of paper is lacking — if the I’s aren't dotted, if the T’s aren't crossed — there's a chance that if you don't have things lined up one year, you start all over,” Cashman said.

For seven years, the group has gone above and beyond the circle standards by holding special programs and inducting prominent individuals as honorary members, like SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, Congressman Bill Owens and former ambassadors and congressmen and women, Cashman said.

“We are very proud of the tradition of excellence that our circle represents through active programming and inductions of students, faculty/staff, alumni and honoris causa members,” Cashman said.

“The Plattsburgh circle's recognition with the society's Presidential Award of Excellence is a testament to the sustained leadership of the circle's officers as well as to the caliber of its members,” said Dr. Michael Christakis, the national vice president for circle standards and foundation trustee. “The Plattsburgh circle should be commended for continuing to set the bar for other circles nationwide to emulate."

The SUNY Plattsburgh ODK chapter was charted May 2, 1981, and has since inducted more than 2,350 members. Plattsburgh is one of 14 SUNY schools to be granted a charter by the leadership society.

The chapter puts on a dozen programs throughout the fall and spring semesters, including Family Weekend events, Lunch with a Leader Series for college students, a leadership workshop for high school students and an ODK Day of Service.

Some of the group’s achievements include the installation of park benches in honor of the late Dr. Eldridge Roark, former vice president for academic affairs, and Cheryl Hogle, retired associate dean of students, both former national society presidents; a brick pathway outside the Angell College Center in recognition of ODK’s 25 years on campus; and an endowment to the College Foundation currently valued at more than $68,000.

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