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About Order of Omega

Order of Omega members are selected from the highest achieving fraternity or sorority members (must be a sophomore, junior, or senior to apply) at each institution.  To date, over 575+ chapters have been chartered throughout North America with over 250,000 members initiated since 1959. 

Order of Omega is a leadership honor society for members of Fraternity & Sorority organizations. Order of Omega recognizes upperclassmen who have exemplified high standards in the areas of scholarship, leadership, involvement within their respective organization and within the Fraternity/Sorority, campus, and local community. Members share the common goal of recognizing the many outstanding student leaders at their institution.

Parker F. Enright's idea

Order of Omega was founded at the University of Miami (FL) — the Omega Alpha chapter. The original constitution was approved on April 14, 1959. The idea of an honorary for fraternity men at the University of Miami is attributed to Parker F. Enright, the advisor to fraternities at the time.

The Second Chapter

On December 1st, 1967, a Chapter (Omega Beta) was chartered at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The Dr. Kent L. Gardner Era Begins
University of Texas at Arlington

After receiving a charter from Order of Omega on February 25, 1969 (Omega Kappa chapter), the University of Texas at Arlington would become home to Order of Omega. Dr. Kent L. Gardner assumed the role of National President and Executive Director in 1971.

The Coed Era Begins
From all-male to a coeducational organization

The chapters at Oregon State University (Alpha Rho) and the University of Florida (Omega Zeta) trialed the initial idea of coed Order of Omega chapters. They were great successes and in 1977 a vote was taken to change Order of Omega from an all-male organization to a coeducational organization, and its growth accelerated even further.

A New Constitution
Setting the tone for rapid growth

The first meeting of Order of Omega leadership from across the country. A new Constitution was approved and chapters were divided into regions according to geography.

Scholarship Program is Launched
Helping Undergraduate Students

The final details of the scholarship program were approved. Ten scholarships in an amount of $500.00 were awarded this first year. Since then, the scholarship program has awarded nearly $1.5 million to deserving undergraduate members of Order of Omega.

A Focus on Diversity
Board Meeting in New Orleans, LA

At the 1988 Board of Directors meeting, a primary focus of discussion was coming up with strategies to try and increase the number of African-American men and women in Order of Omega. A strategy was developed to target historically black colleges and universities for future expansion.

Master's/Doctoral Fellowship Program is Launched
Giving back to Higher Education

In an effort to give back to the Higher Education profession, Order of Omega established a Fellowship program for full and part-time professionals enrolled in a Higher Education-related field of study (Master’s or Doctoral). Since then, Order of Omega has awarded over $250,000 to deserving professionals.

Daisy Wood Joins Board of Directors
An NPHC representative

Order of Omega Board of Directors opened a position with the intention of including a member of an NPHC organization to the Board. Ms. Daisy “Dee” Wood, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and past president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council accepted the position. Daisy enthusiastically served in this position until her passing in 2014.

International Chapters
First Chapter in Canada

Order of Omega officially became an international organization on April 26, 1993 with the chartering of the Nu Xi chapter at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada).

The 400th Chapter
Rapid Growth

Order of Omega, in just its 38th year, chartered its 400th chapter at Towson University (Rho Alpha) on November 17, 1997.

Headquarters Office Building Opens
Building Dedication

After breaking ground in 2005, Order of Omega’s current headquarters office building was officially opened on July 22, 2006 with an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

50th Anniversary
Back to the beginning

To celebrate Order of Omega’s golden anniversary (50th), the Board of Directors meeting was held in Miami, Florida. A reception was held at the University of Miami to celebrate the founding of the organization and Order of Omega approved a $10,000 gift to be given to the University of Miami’s Greek Affairs office.

Mardie Sorensen Becomes New Executive Director
Passing the torch

After over 40 years at the helm as Executive Director, Dr. Kent L. Gardner retired and passed the torch over to then-Assistant Executive Director, Mardie Sorensen.

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