Who We Are
Founded in 1959 at the University of Miami (FL), Order of Omega is the premier honor organization for Fraternity/Sorority leaders. Order of Omega’s goal is to recognize undergraduate fraternity and sorority leaders at our collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada. Undergraduate students, who belong to a recognized fraternity/sorority and who exemplify high standards in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and involvement within their respective organization and within the fraternity/sorority community, are selected for membership by the local collegiate chapter.
Nationally, Order of Omega is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are headquartered in Arlington, TX.
To see a timeline of the organization’s history, please scroll down this page.
Position Statement Resolutions
WHEREAS, The Order of Omega serves to recognize outstanding leadership in fraternity and sorority community on college and university campuses, and
WHEREAS, the recognized leadership serves to promote fraternity and sorority life on campuses, and
WHEREAS, outstanding leadership requires being a role model for fraternity and sorority chapter leaders and members, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED: that Order of Omega Chapter members adopt and promote the following position statements with their campus Order of Omega chapter, Greek governing bodies, and individual fraternity and sorority chapters.
WHEREAS, Harassment based upon gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin is inappropriate, insensitive, and sometimes violent, and
WHEREAS, this type of human interaction is contrary to the principles of the Order of Omega and fraternities and sororities, and
WHEREAS, such human interaction is reportedly practiced by some collegians, and
WHEREAS, this type of human interaction is destructive and contrary to human decency, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED: that The Order of Omega urges each member chapter to make every effort to educate its members and the members of its fraternity and sorority community regarding principles of human decency.
WHEREAS, The Executive Board of the Order of Omega and its member chapters recognize and are concerned about any pre-initiation or initiation practices which constitute hazing, and
WHEREAS, hazing is contrary to everything fraternities and sororities stand for, and
WHEREAS, hazing is demeaning and illegal, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED: that The Order of Omega disapproves, in the strongest possible terms, of any activity that constitutes hazing on college and university campuses.
Alchohol and Illiegal Substances
WHEREAS, The Executive Board of The Order of Omega and its member chapters recognize and are deeply concerned with the continued abuse of alcohol and illegal substances in our fraternity and sorority community and in society, and
WHEREAS, the dangers of misuse and abuse of alcohol and illegal substances to individuals and groups are becoming increasingly evident, and
WHEREAS, the misuse and abuse of the substances are inconsistent with the goals and missions of The Order of Omega, fraternities and sororities, and higher education institutions, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED: that Order of Omega members accept and promote the following: that each Order of Omega member be encouraged to make a responsible decision concerning the use of alcohol and promote within his/her fraternity and sorority community this decision, that when alcohol is present, responsibility be encouraged and promoted, that all chapters develop and implement guidelines for responsible use of alcohol, and that events and activities sponsored by chapters of The Order of Omega will comply with all university or college policies and local and state laws regarding the purchase, sale, and distribution, and use of alcoholic beverages, that the purchase of alcohol with Order of Omega funds will be prohibited, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that use, sale, or distribution of illegal substances be forbidden and considered as grounds for expulsion from The Order of Omega chapter.
WHEREAS, Sexual misconduct based upon sexual harassment, discrimination, or sexual assault and all forms of discrimination relating to one’s sex or gender identity violates the rights and dignity of individuals and will not be tolerated, and.
WHEREAS, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual coercion, and non-consensual sexual contact will not be condoned, and
WHEREAS, sexual misconduct is considered to be abusive and aggressive, whether physical, mental, or emotional, and is not welcome within this organization, and
WHEREAS, this type of conduct is contrary to the values and principles on which fraternity and sorority organizations and the Order of Omega were founded, and therefore
BE IT RESOLVED, Order of Omega members and chapters will work to educate their respective chapters and campus communities on available resources, promote healthy interactions amongst all people, to foster a campus climate that is supportive of collaboration creating a safe campus environment.
Order of Omega's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Order of Omega is dedicated to meeting its purpose “to bring together members of the faculty, alumni, and student fraternity and sorority members of our host institutions on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and cooperation.”
Order of Omega’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging:
Order of Omega recognizes diversity, inclusion, and belonging in an academic environment adds value to the educational experience. We are committed to fostering communities that value and support diversity, equity, and inclusiveness for individuals of all backgrounds, orientations, and abilities.
Order of Omega's Constitution and Bylaws
Order of Omega operates under fundamental principles and specific rules written in our constitution and bylaws, which our chapters last ratified on November 16, 2022.
Order of Omega's History Timeline
Order of Omega is committed to meeting its purpose of bringing together members of our host institutions’ faculty, alumni, and student fraternity or sorority members based on mutual interest, understanding, and cooperation.
We acknowledge that diversity, inclusion, and belonging in an academic environment add value to students’ educational experiences. So, we are committed to fostering communities that value and support inclusiveness, diversity, and equity for individuals of all backgrounds, orientations, and abilities.
Parker F. Enright's Idea
Order of Omega was founded at the University of Miami (FL)—the Omega Alpha chapter. They attributed the idea of an honorary for fraternity men at the University of Miami to Parker F. Enright, the advisor of fraternities back then.
After the founding, our organization immediately approved our original constitution on April 14, 1959. Since then, Order of Omega has continued growing, chartering more chapters, including one that Mr. Enright established at the University of Pittsburgh in 1964.
The Second Chapter
1971: The Dr. Kent L. Gardner Era Begins
The 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 became home to Order of Omega. This is after Dr. Kent L. Gardner became the organization’s national president and executive director in 1971.
1977: The Coed Era Begins
From All-Male to a Coeducational Organization
Our chapters at the University of Florida (Omega Zeta Chapter) and Oregon State University (Alpha Rho Chapter) trialed the initial idea of the coed Order of Omega chapters. The trial produced great successes. So, in 1977, it was voted that Order of Omega should change from an all-male group to a coeducational organization. Since then, our association’s growth has accelerated even further.
1983: A New Constitution
Setting the Tone for Rapid Growth
In 1983, Order of Omega leaders from across the country held our organization’s first meeting. A new constitution was approved, and the chapters were divided into regions geographically.
1985: The Launch of Scholarship Program
Helping Undergraduate Students
The final details of our proposed scholarship program were approved in 1985. We awarded ten scholarships worth $500 in the first year. Since then, our scholarship program has awarded over $1.6 million to deserving undergraduate members of Order of Omega.
1988: A Focus on Diversity
Board Meeting in New Orleans, LA
At a board of directors’ meeting in 1988, a primary focus of discussion was developing strategies to increase the number of African-American men and women in Order of Omega. We formed a strategy targeting historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) for future expansion.
1988: Launch of Master's and Doctoral Fellowship Program
Giving Back to Higher Education
Order of Omega created a fellowship program for full-time and part-time professionals enrolled in a field of study (Master’s or Doctoral) that is related to higher education. This is to give back to the higher education profession. Since then, Order of Omega has awarded more than $277,000 to deserving professionals.
1993: Daisy Wood Joins the Board of Directors
An NPHC Representative
Order of Omega’s board of directors opened a position in 1993 to include a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) member on the board. Ms. Daisy “Dee” Wood, a Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. member and past president of the NPHC, accepted the position in 1994. Until her passing in 2014, Daisy enthusiastically served in this position.
1993: International Chapters
First Chapter in Canada
On April 26, 1993, Order of Omega officially became an international organization after chartering the Nu Xi Chapter at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON (Canada).
1997: The 400th Chapter
Order of Omega chartered its 400th chapter in just its 38th year. The new chapter, Rho Alpha, was chartered at Towson University on November 17, 1997.
2006: Opening of the Headquarters Office Building
After breaking ground in 2005, we officially opened our current headquarters office building on July 22, 2006. The opening event was an open house and had a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
2009: 50th Anniversary
Back to the Beginning
Order of Omega’s board of directors held a meeting in Miami, FL, to celebrate our organization’s golden anniversary. A reception was held at the University of Miami to celebrate the founding anniversary, and Order of Omega approved a $10,000 gift to be given to the University of Miami’s Greek Affairs Office.
2012: Mardie Sorensen Becomes New Executive Director
Passing the Torch
After over 40+ years of Executive Director Dr. Kent L. Gardner’s leadership, he retired and passed the torch over to the then-Assistant Executive Director, Mardie Sorensen.
2023: International Headquarters Name
Honoring Dr. Kent L. Gardner's Legacy
During the 2023 Summer Board Meeting, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to name Order of Omega headquarters the Kent L. Gardner Order of Omega International Headquarters, in honor of Dr. Kent L. Gardner.