Scholarships and Awards

The Alpha Omicron Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa distinguishes awards and scholarships annually to deserving leaders in the greater Virginia Tech Community.  Scholarships are selected from applications by circle officers, while Awards are selected by nominations from circle members. Scholarship and Awards are presented to recipients at the Spring Induction Ceremony.  The scholarship application and all award nominations are due by Friday, March 29, 2019 at 5:00pm. Information for the scholarship application and each award is listed below.  Contact Brooke Martin at for more information.

Paul N. Derring Scholarship

  • Paul N. Derring Scholarship
  • $4000 scholarship given in recognition of outstanding leadership and service by a member of the current sophomore class (Class of 2021).
  • Application Deadline: Friday, March 29, 2019 at 5:00pm emailed to

Download the application below for more information on award eligibility and application details.

Paul N. Derring Scholarship Application

2019 Paul N. Derring Scholarship Application (pdf)


Circle Nominated Awards:

Henry J. Dekker Award

  • Recognizing outstanding leadership and service by a member of the current junior class (Class of 2020).

The award is presented in memory of Henry J. Dekker, former Rector of the Board of Visitors of Virginia Tech.  While he was an undergraduate at Virginia Tech he was elected Class of 1944 President and President of the Corps of Cadets in 1942.  The Alumni Association, Corps of Cadets, German Club, Omicron Delta Kappa, Virginia Tech Foundation, and the Pamplin College of Business have all significantly benefited from Mr. Dekker’s leadership and service.  His commitment to Virginia Tech was honored with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1987 and the Class of 1998 named their ring collection in his honor.  In 1999, he received the university’s highest honor, the Ruffner Medal.  Mr. Dekker died in 2011 at the age of 90.

Frank Beamer Award for Exceptional Service

  • Recognition of an outstanding Virginia Tech student who has excelled as a leader.

The award is presented in honor of Frank Beamer for his outstanding athletic leadership at the university.  Beamer is a 1969 alumnus, former Virginia Tech football player, and a member of the Alpha Omicron Circle of ODK. Frank Beamer later went on to become the head football coach from 1987-2015.  Under his direction, the Hokies become perennial bowl competitors and had their debut in the 2000 National Championship Bowl Game.  Beamer has been the recipient of several national coaching awards, and throughout his years as a leader Coach Beamer has shown a high degree of integrity and humility.

Frank Loria Award

  • Recognition of a Virginia Tech varsity level athlete who excels athletically and academically.

This award is presented in memory of Frank Loria to honor his distinguished athletic and academic careers at Virginia Tech. Loria was a graduate of the Class of 1968, member of the Alpha Omicron Circle of ODK, most notably a two-time Football All-American and an Academic All-American. The award maintains his memory by recognizing an individual who exemplifies the manner of Frank Loria, a fine student, an outstanding athlete, and a responsible citizen.  The recipient will be a varsity athlete recognized for dedication and commitment to hard work and fair play, for demonstrated leadership on and off the practice and playing fields, and for athletic and academic accomplishments.

G. Burke Johnston Award for Excellence in Teaching

  • Recognition of excellence in teaching and leadership in the academic community. 

This award was presented for the first time in 1974 memory of G. Burke Johnston. Johnston was an English faculty member who left in 1933 and returned in 1950 as dean of the School of Applied Science and Business Administration. He later became dean of the School of Science and General Studies, the first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the C. P. Miles Professor of English. A Renaissance man, Johnston had a zest for life that attracted the admiration of all who met him. A recipient of this award should exhibit the characteristics of Dr. Johnston: One who has excelled as a teacher and/or an administrator, who exhibits a variety of interests and talents, and who shares Dr. Johnston’s joyful dedication to learning. 

Alfred C. Payne Service Award

  • Recognizes any individual who has performed exceptional service to the Greater Blacksburg Community.

This award was established in 1986 by the Alpha Omicron Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa.  This award was presented in memory of the Reverend Alfred C. Payne, retired Counselor of Religious Affairs, longtime secretary of the YMCA at Virginia Tech, and former faculty secretary of the Alpha Omicron Circle of ODK. In 1993, a residence hall at Virginia Tech was dedicated to him for his service to the university and the community.   He has served as honorary Chairman of the United Way of Montgomery, Floyd, and Radford.  He was named Blacksburg's Distinguished Citizen by the Chamber of Commerce, and he has been honored by the Mental Health Association of the New River Valley. Reverend Payne died in 2003 at the age of 87.

Omicron Delta Kappa ‘Salutes’

In the session of 1964-65 the Circle began a policy of picking out praise-worthy activities of organizations or individuals and recognizing them in a program called 'ODK Salutes.' The ODK Salutes award is a local award from our Alpha Omicron Circle given in recognition of outstanding leadership activities and service in our university community in the five leadership areas.

University Nominated Awards:

University Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Introductory Subjects

  • The University Sporn Award is a student-selected award for teaching excellence in introductory subjects. 
  • This award is presented in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Sporn. Dr. Sporn was President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Electric Power Company.  One award of $2000 is given each year, and the recipient is inducted into the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence.  Nominations are received from students only. The award selection committee is comprised of student representatives from ODK and Golden Key along with a faculty advisor (the previous year's award winner). Eligible candidates for the Sporn Award are Virginia Tech faculty members who:
    • are full-time employees;
    • hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor;
    • teach introductory courses at the 1000/2000 level; and
    • have not received the Wine or Alumni Teaching Award in the past seven years.

For more information, see the Academy of Teaching Excellence Award Guidelines website.