Hilburn Receives Prestigious ODK Laurel Crowned Circle Award

March 20, 2000

Dr. Glenn O. Hilburn, retired chair of the religion department at Baylor University, received the prestigious Laurel Crowned Circle Award at the 41st biennial national convention of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society held in St. Louis, Mo. Hilburn is only the 12th person to receive the award in the 86-year history of ODK, the oldest national leadership honor society in the U.S.

"This is a singularly significant honor that recognizes Dr. Hilburn's long history of involvement and his superb leadership on campus and nationally with this top-flight organization," said Baylor Chancellor Herbert H. Reynolds.

"I believe Glenn Hilburn is an ideal recipient of the highest award that may be given by the Omicron Delta Kappa Society, the Laurel Crowned Circle Award," said Dr. Eldridge W. Roark Jr., former national president of ODK, in presenting the award. "Glenn is a remarkable individual, an outstanding American and educator, who has exemplified the ideals of ODK in his personal and professional life. His many contributions to ODK are legendary and cover years of significant service to the Society."

Hilburn, the George W. Baines Professor of Religion, joined the Baylor faculty in 1961 and was named chair of the religion department in 1983. He received a bachelor of science degree from Centenary College and earned bachelor of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

A respected authority in church history, Hilburn is the author of the essay "Medieval Views of the Church," in The Believers' Church: Essays in Honor of James Leo Garrett Jr. and of numerous book reviews in such publications as the Christian Scholar and the Southwestern Journal of Theology. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Church and State and reviewer of historical and theological books published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.

Hilburn was selected as a member of ODK in 1951. He helped charter the Baylor circle in 1962 and for 38 years served as faculty advisor or faculty secretary. In 1969 he was appointed editor of the Society's publication The Circle, a position he held until 1978. That year he was elected national president of ODK and held that office for seven years, the longest tenure anyone has held the post.

ODK was founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee University and was the first college honor society of national scope to give recognition for meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities and to encourage development of general campus citizenship. Currently ODK has 229 active circles on college and university campuses throughout the U.S.

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