Friday, March 20, 2015

University of New Orleans Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society

Join Us!

Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society is hosting its inaugural Spring Gala at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 in the University Center Ballroom. 

The event will kick off fundraising efforts for a new scholarship established by ODK.

Minimum suggested donation $10. All proceeds go toward the ODK fund.

The University of New Orleans Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society is hosting its inaugural Spring Gala next month in the University Center Ballroom. The event will kick off fundraising efforts for a new scholarship established by ODK.

UNO Professor Emeritus of History Raphael Cassimere, a distinguished UNO alumnus and professor emeritus in the History department, will deliver the keynote address, “We Are Not Alone.”

ODK President Edie Talley expects the address to resonate on campus.

“Everyone knows budget cuts have had devastating effects. Tuition and fees are increasing students’ financial burdens. At the same time, faculty and staff are forced to do more and more with less and less,” Talley said. "ODK members are leaders. We want to help students, faculty and staff remain positive through these tough times. This is our way of doing it."

Successive state budget cuts have totaled more than $40 million in revenue losses for the University over the last three years. More information on state budget cuts is expected soon. The gala will honor hard-working, dedicated faculty and staff who have persevered through years without pay raises while facing cuts in resources and programs, Talley said.

“We plan to spotlight five of these individuals for their exceptional campus and community leadership,” ODK Vice President Charles McMaster said. “In a way, it is a love letter to those who make learning possible at UNO.”

The event should be fun, organizers said. Live music, dinner, dessert, and coffee are just a few of the reasons to attend. There will be a silent auction and door prizes. The newest members of ODK will be inducted during a candle light initiation ceremony. The entire UNO community is invited, including faculty, staff, alumni, and students.

It’s a chance to celebrate all that is great and good at UNO, Talley said.

Though admission is by donation, the suggested minimum is $10 per person. 

“Of course, we’ll accept larger donations. The more money we raise, the more students we can help,” McMaster added. “The idea is to make it possible for financially challenged students to stay in school and complete their degrees. Every single penny donated will go into the scholarship fund.”

Though the idea was conceived last semester, plans for the event and the scholarship fund only began to gain traction in January. Since then, ODK members have put their collective talents together to identify ways fully fund the gala without having to divert any money from the scholarship fund to pay for it.

Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Dale O'Neill said she was "impressed" by the hard work and team effort put forth by ODK’s members organizing the gala. 

“I am proud to be the advisor of the student members of ODK at UNO,” O’Neill said. “They have planned a wonderful, fun-filled event to recognize outstanding faculty and staff. In addition, the proceeds of the event will go to help fund an annual scholarship. ODK is truly creating a new UNO tradition founded on gratitude and servitude.”

ODK has partnered with UNO Foundation to create a charitable donation account. Student Government funded food for the gala. The UNO Music Department is sponsoring a jazz ensemble. Local businesses and individuals are donating goods and services for the silent auction and door prizes, Talley said.

“It’s a community effort.  The UNO community is bringing its resources to bear and taking care of its own,” Talley said. "And we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Space is limited.  Those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible.  Departments may reserve entire tables and are encouraged to do so.  For more information or to make reservations, please email odk@uno.edu.