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A Tap, Then an Honor: 26 Simpson Students Join Omicron Delta Kappa


Cassidy King did not look like a student about to be honored.

At the beginning of her afternoon math class on Nov. 1, King was asked to stand.

“Why?” she asked, suspiciously. “What did I do?”

She was asked again.

“Why?” she repeated, and then laughed. “I’m afraid.”

Junior Levi Lefebure then read a brief statement announcing that King, a senior from St. Cloud, Minn., had been named to Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), a national leadership honorary society that was founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee University.

Similar scenes played out throughout the Simpson campus as King and 25 other students were invited to join ODK.

“I’m excited about it,” said King, a math and criminal justice major who serves two executive roles on the Campus Activities Board. “I just wasn’t expecting it.”

The names of the students were a secret; not even their professors knew. Current ODK members like Lefebure are given the task of inviting them.

“Being invited to join ODK is a tremendous honor,” said Heidi Levine, Vice President for Student Development & Planning. “The criteria for membership automatically mean that only the highest academically achieving students are eligible, and then to receive an invitation to join students must have engaged in high levels of leadership activity in one or more aspects of campus life. These students are truly exemplars – they are outstanding scholars and also make significant contributions to every aspect of our campus life.”

Junior Baillee Furst had barely sat down for her Public Relations Writing course when she was tapped.

“I was very surprised,” said Furst, who grew up in Boone and who is majoring in public relations and English at Simpson. “I had no idea the tapping would happen today, or that I would get in at all. I was honored to find out I was eligible, and absolutely flattered to be tapped.”

At Simpson, Furst has been the social media director of the Campus Activities Board for two years and the UGA for Career Development for two years. She is a student coach for the softball team. Other activities include the Marketing and Advertising Director for Simpson Student Media last year, member of PRSSA and Firm Director for C Street Agency, which is Simpson’s student-run public relations firm. She’s in Alpha Lambda Delta and Sigma Tau Delta. 

Simpson College’s ODK Circle was established in 1990. ODK recognizes outstanding students who have achieved excellence academically and also excel as leaders in one or more of five “pillars” of campus life: scholarship; athletics; campus and community service, religious life, and campus government; journalism, speech, and mass media; and the creative and performing arts.

“Once they join, ODK members engage in campus service through such activities as sponsoring end-of-semester care packages and ushering at commencement and baccalaureate; they also have access to ODK’s national network of leadership and scholarship opportunities,” Levine said. 

The following Simpson students were invited to join on Nov. 1. An induction ceremony will be held on Dec. 1:

Katie Clarke
Mackenzie Clayton
Kasiah Ehresman
Molly Fisher
Emma Fleddermann
Morgan Frideres
Baillee Furst
Daniel Goldsmith
Hannah Gordon
Samantha Hafermann
Katrina Hartman
Madison Hawtrey
Hannahlynn Heinen
Cassidy King
Lydia Magalhaes
Ariana Medici
Shelby Miller
Elizabeth Mixon
Kaitlyn Mulder
Megan Oliver
Kelsey Poppe
Kayla Reusche
Abby Schulte
Katrina Sieck
Quinn Slaven
Elisabeth Stolte