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A Finding Aid for the Omicron Delta Kappa Records 1965-1994

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Omicron Delta Kappa Records

Creator: Omicron Delta Kappa. Ferris State University Chapter Circle.

Dates: 1965-1994

Abstract: This fraternity encourages leadership qualities in students and the pursuit of excellence. It was formally chartered in April 1971 after having a local group for six years. The records consist primarily of photographs and banquet related materials. There are few minutes or other programmatic materials.

Language: English

Quantity: 1.5 cubic feet; 1records center box

Identification: UA 33.20.1

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

In February 1964, a group of male staff members, who had belonged to chapters of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) at other institutions, met to discuss the possibility of forming a chapter at Ferris State College. Existing student organizations did not fulfill a need for an on campus leadership society. Therefore, in May 1965, the initial banquet chartered five students as members of Omicron Beta Kappa. This local organization was patterned on ODK rules and qualifications in order to ease the application for a national charter at a later date.

In December 1970, the chapter applied for status as an official Omicron Delta Kappa Chapter, which was granted in April 1971. There were some complications as alumni members outside the state were part of the local petitioning group. Not all of those petitioning alumni were allowed to join but current and future chapter members were accepted.

The chapter sought to bring in the leaders from various activities around campus. There were both faculty and student members. Local customs which were to be integrated into the normal activities of the chapter were initiation banquets, leadership seminars and sustained academic achievement awards. Some of the initiation banquets brought prominent speakers to the Ferris State campus such as Richard DeVos and former governor G. Mennen Williams.

Advisor Dacho Dachoff served on a national level in writing guides for regional directors and as the editor of the national publication The Circle.

Membership was later expanded to include women. The organization remains active today on the Ferris State University campus.

Scope and Content Note

Omicron Delta Kappa formally petitioned to become a charter of the national organization in December 1970. Becoming an official part of this men's leadership fraternity had long been a goal for advisor Dacho Dachoff, who had previously founded a chapter at Wayne State University. President Victor Spathelf had also belonged to the Wayne State chapter. They felt that this would be a valuable addition to student life on the Ferris State College campus.

This collection contains a fairly complete set of photographs from the 1970-1995 period. Most individuals are unidentified in the photos and they are labeled by year. Much information is available about the initial charter application and membership lists. Other available information includes banquet programs, newsclippings and alumni newsletters. Very limited administrative material such as minutes and correspondence are part of the collection. Of particular interest is a cumulative list of members (both alphabetically and by years).


The papers are contained in a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Omicron Delta Kappa Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box (or url). Omicron Delta Kappa Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

Most of the paper based records were provided by advisor Dacho Dachoff upon his retirement from Ferris State College in 1983. Membership lists and photographs were donated by Ray Dickinson in October 2002, February 2004, February 2005, June 2005 and August 2005. Additional oversized framed photographs were donated by Maude Bigford in August 2005.

Processing Information

The Omicron Delta Kappa Records were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in March 2008. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 2.0. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper based documents and photographs. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. Subject Records. 1965-1994.

Subject records consists of 1.5 cubic feet of paper based documents. These records are primarily photographs although some administrative records such as correspondence, speeches and banquet programs are included.

They are arranged alphabetically by topic and chronologically within topics. At the end of the series are files relating to non-Ferris chapters.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 20th anniversary program. 1994.
1 2 Alumni correspondence. 1986-1991.
1 3 Alumni directory/newsletter. 1980-1991.
1 4 Banquet programs. 1971-1991.
1 5 Charter petitioning for national membership. December 1970.
1 6 Circle magazine. 1980-1981.
1 7 Constitution and bylaws. Undated.
1 8 Dachoff, Dachoff. Program proposal. Undated.
1 9 DeVos, Richard. Speech. 1982.
1 10 Employee number. 1977.
1 11 Gerholz, Robert P. Correspondence. 1973.
1 12 Guide for Province Faculty and Student Directors. 1979.
1 13 Handbook for Province Directors. 1980.
1 14 Information packet. Undated.
1 15 "Leadership and the Order of the Turtle." Dachoff lecture. Province VII conference. 1981.
1 16 Membership lists. 1966-1992; undated.
1 17 Minutes. 1974.
1 18 Newsclippings. 1977-1992.
1 19 Omicron Beta Kappa chapter. 1965.
1 20 Petition to General Council. December 1970.
1 21 Photos. 1970-1979.
1 22 Photos. 1980-1989.
1 23 Photos. 1990-1994.
1 24 Photos. Undated.
1 25 Province IX. Conference report. 1979.
1 26 Province IX. Directors correspondence. 1979-1980.
1 27 Recruitment letters. 1990.
1 28 Scrapbook. 1971-1985.
1 29 Williams, G. Mennen. Speech. 1979.
1 30 Michigan State University chapter. 1979.
1 31 Wayne State University chapter. 1949.