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Lena Hill to Deliver Keynote at ODK Initiation Ceremony On March 22, the University Provost will address 51 new initiates of W&L’s Alpha Circle of ODK.

SOC051023_030-600x400 Lena Hill to Deliver Keynote at ODK Initiation Ceremony

Washington and Lee University’s Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, will welcome six honorary and 45 student initiates during its spring induction ceremony on Friday, March 22 at 4 p.m. in the University Chapel.

The ceremony is open to the public and will be streamed online at https://go.wlu.edu/livestream.

Lena Hill, University Provost, will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony and be inducted as an honorary ODK member. Hill joined Washington and Lee in 2018 as dean of the College and professor of English and Africana studies and was named provost in 2021.

Hill is credited with significantly diversifying the faculty at W&L by developing a series of initiatives to promote hiring best practices. She has also spearheaded faculty and staff development programs, directed the inclusion of W&L in the national Consortium for Faculty Diversity, and instituted the Ted DeLaney postdoctoral program in the College, which has since been expanded to the Williams School.

Prior to joining W&L, Hill was associate vice president and interim chief diversity officer at the University of Iowa, where she also led the Center for Diversity and Enrichment, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and the Diversity Resources Team. She joined the faculty in Iowa in 2006 as an assistant professor of English and African American studies, receiving tenure as an associate professor in 2013. In 2011, she received the James N. Murray Faculty Award, awarded by the Beta Iota Circle of ODK to an assistant professor for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

A passionate advocate of liberal arts education, Hill serves on several national boards and consortia, including the National Humanities Alliance, the Modern Language Publications Committee, the Modernism/Modernity Editorial Board and the Consortium for Faculty Diversity Steering Committee. She is also the co-founder of the Ralph Ellison Society of America.

Hill received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and her doctorate in English from Yale University. Her scholarship focuses on African American literature, primarily of the 20th century, and she is the author of “Visualizing Blackness and the Creation of the African American Literary Tradition.”

Omicron Delta Kappa was founded in 1914 at W&L by 15 students and faculty leaders. The founders formulated the idea that leadership of exceptional quality and versatility in college should be recognized, that representatives in all phases of college life should cooperate in worthwhile endeavors, and that outstanding students, faculty and administrators should meet on the basis of mutual interest, understanding and helpfulness. ODK was the first college honor society of a national scope to honor meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities and encourage the development of general campus citizenship.