ABC’s of UMD: Letter O

O is for the ODK FOUNTAIN!

Like the “M” Circle, featured in our post on October 12, the ODK Fountain is one of the most iconic features of the UMD campus. Installed in the heart of McKeldin Mall and dedicated in April 1997, the fountain consists of five tiers that represent the areas of leadership from which Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) seeks in its members–Scholarship; Athletics; Campus or Community Service, Social, and Religious Activities, and Campus Government; Journalism, Speech, and the Mass Media; the Creative and Performing Arts.

ODK fountainThe Sigma Circle of ODK, the UMD chapter, was founded on February 2, 1927, by faculty members and administrators Harry Clifton Byrd, Ray Carpenter, Ernest N. Cory, Raymond A. Pearson, Willard S. Small, Reginald V. Truitt. This six men immediately began tapping undergraduates for membership.

Initial members of ODK, from the 1927 Reveille yearbook
Initial members of ODK, from the 1927 Reveille yearbook

Through the years, over 4,000 men, and now women, have been tapped for membership into this honorary fraternity, which celebrates leadership, scholarship, outstanding character, and student involvement. The names of the inductees from 1927 to 2015, including honorary members such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Steny Hoyer, and the Earl of Halifax, have been carved in the granite panels that line the fountain.

This is the 15th post in our series on Terrapin Tales called ABC’s of UMD! Posts will come out twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, throughout the semester. If you want to learn more about campus history, check back weekly to see what we’ve picked to highlight, and you can also visit our encyclopedia University of Maryland A to Z: MAC to Millennium for more UMD facts.

Do you have other ABC’s about campus? Let us know in the comments below!

Check back on Friday, October 23, for Letter P!

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