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Georgian Court Receives Charter for National Leadership Honor Society

Lakewood, N.J., Nov. 13, 2009—Georgian Court University’s petition for a charter of the National Leadership Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, was recently approved by the organization's board of directors. Kenneth A. Taylor, associate executive director of the group, will lead the chartering ceremony slated for 2:00 p.m., Sunday, November 15, in the Dorothy Marron University Community Chapel on the Lakewood campus.

The featured speaker is William Johnston, president of the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation Board, and former president of the New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Johnston, who is considered an informed expert with a longtime, insider view of the workings and challenges of the nation's financial markets, led the NYSE from 1996 to 2002.

Now a senior advisor to the NYSE chairman, Mr. Johnston is a 1961 graduate of Washington and Lee University, the campus where Omicron Delta Kappa was founded to recognize and encourage superior scholarship, leadership, and exemplary character among college students.

“We are pleased to welcome Georgian Court University into our society,” says Steve Bisese, Ed.D., the honor society’s national president. "Georgian Court joins the five other colleges and universities in New Jersey that have Omicron Delta Kappa chapters (circles). Students will now be recognized for their leadership involvement and be eligible to participate in the Society's national programs, including Campus Leaders Today and Community Leaders Tomorrow, and to pursue Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation scholarship opportunities.”

In spring of 2008, Peter R. Strohm, J.D., a member of Georgian Court University’s Board of Trustees, asked university officials to investigate the possibility of having an Omicron Delta Kappa circle on its campus. Mr. Strohm was initiated into ODK in 1968 as a student at Washington and Lee University. After more than a year of working to meet ODK’s rigorous requirements for establishing new chapters, GCU’s petition for membership was approved in the summer of 2009.

Members of the Georgian Court University charter group include Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D., university president; Scott Bennett, Ph.D., associate professor of history; Mary Chinery, Ph.D., associate dean of the Schools of Arts & Humanities and Sciences & Mathematics; Lisa Festa, Ph.D., assistant professor of art; Kathleen Ann Froriep, Ed.D., assistant professor of education; Joseph F. Gower, university provost; Michael F. Gross, Ph.D., associate provost for academic program development; Leslie Korb, Ph.D., associate professor of business; Robert J. Louden, Ph.D., professor of criminal justice; Evelyn Quinn, associate provost and dean of students; Karen Souffrant, assistant dean for student development; and Edward P. Witman, Ph.D., director of the GCU Honors Program and professor of philosophy. Also, F. Thomas Crawley Jr., Ed.D., assistant professor of education, is a member who joined the ranks of ODK as an undergraduate.

GCU’s new Omicron Delta Kappa Circle includes 46 charter members; 19 are current undergraduates and six are graduate students. In addition, student leaders with the organization named two GCU alumnae to the group’s membership: Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford '76 and GCU Board of Trustees chair Patricia E. Koch, Esq., '69, an attorney who is known throughout the region as a creative business leader and an advocate for the rights of crime victims. On Sunday, four other accomplished individuals will become honorary or “honoris causa” members during ceremony. They are:

  • Barbara Gliwa, GCU vice president for finance and administration, whose career in higher education spans more than 22 years. Ms. Gliwa, who was named New York City Woman of the Year in 1999, has worked in senior roles in administration, finance, planning, and academics at other universities, including the City College of New York, State University of New York Medical School, and the SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn.
  • Marta Harrison, former mayor of Lakewood, who has worked as a senior analyst and technology manager in various roles with the New Jersey Office of Treasury and the state Motor Vehicle Commission. Ms. Harrison also is vice chairwoman of the Ocean County Democratic Organization, and she volunteers on the board of New Jersey Hands Nonprofit Housing Corporation, and the Interfaith Hospitality Network.
  • Priscilla Hiby, a Mantaloking realtor who is volunteers extensively with organizations throughout the area.
  • The Honorable Thomas Kelaher, mayor of Toms River and a longtime force in Ocean County community service and legal affairs circles. Mayor Kelaher, who left his post as Ocean County Prosecutor in 2007, has achieved success in a career that spans nearly five decades in the military, law enforcement, government, and health care.

About Omicron Delta Kappa
Omicron Delta Kappa, which has its headquarters at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, was founded in 1914 by 15 student and faculty leaders at Washington and Lee University. The organization was the first college honor society of a national scope to give recognition for meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities, and membership in Omicron Delta Kappa remains a mark of highest distinction and honor. The society is present on 315 college campuses nationwide.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.


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