By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
The road to unintended consequences sometimes features an exciting new path toward ingenuity that inspires.
Grand Canyon University’s Eta Chi chapter of Delta Mu Delta, the international business honor society, discovered that happy detour Friday. The pandemic forced the postponement of its spring induction ceremony, so the chapter mapped out a Zoom gathering instead.
The result was its largest turnout of inductees ever … and very likely a new way of getting from Point A to Point B.
“If we do go back to normal where we’re all on campus, I think there’s a great opportunity to continue this tradition and have an online induction for the members who do not travel to campus for the graduation ceremony,” said Dr. Moronke Oke, who advises the student-led group along with Tracey Lauterborn and with faculty support from Dr. Helen Hammond. “It’s a blessing in disguise, really.”
The one-hour ceremony drew 110 of the 159 inductees, about three times as many as an average on-campus event. There were a lot of good touches, not the least of which was displaying each person’s Delta Mu Delta certificate. It was the next best thing to being there in person.
“I am very proud of the leadership by Dr. Oke and Dr. Hammond as faculty advisors for DMD – creating a virtual event was a much needed boost in the lives of our students,” said Dr. Randy Gibb, Dean of the Colangelo College of Business (CCOB).
Oke explained that inductees finish most of the requirements, such as acknowledging the Delta Mu Delta pledge, online. The ceremony is designed to be a celebration of their accomplishment where people can walk across the stage and take pictures.
“But even if people register online, they still appreciate the recognition,” Oke said.
The online version contained another new benefit: In attendance were three representatives of the Delta Mu Delta national board of directors: Jeff Arnold, Executive Director; Dr. John Lewington, DMD advisory board member and Director of Membership Service; and the keynote speaker, Mark Kvalvik, Vice President for Extension and Development.
Dr. Allison Mason, CCOB Associate Dean, welcomed the inductees, extolled them for their accomplishments and reminded them to be change leaders in our changing world.
Kvalvik then used his speech to remind the inductees that qualifying for Delta Mu Delta – which means they rank in the top 20% of their class – is something they can and should use when applying for jobs.
He began by asking this question: What about you makes you different? Then he demonstrated what that has meant for him:
“I don’t like talking about myself, but I realized that it’s the only way for people to know what I’ve done. It doesn’t mean you talk about yourself all the time, but don’t be afraid to talk about yourself.”
His conclusion: “Being in Delta Mu Delta makes you different.”
Kvalvik’s talk was preceded by a testimonial from Levi Myers, who already had a job with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona – thanks to his Delta Mu Delta connection – when he graduated from GCU in April.
Myers joined the work crew when the Eta Chi chapter did a Habitat project, and it just so happens that Andrea Northup, Habitat’s Faith Relations Manager, is a GCU graduate and Delta Mu Delta member. Hammond introduced them, and Myers was hired in February as Faith Relations Coordinator.
“It was really cool to see how some of our members are able to get jobs through their connection with other members,” Oke said. “This is not the first time it has happened.”
Kvalvik and the other Delta Mu Delta board members had a similar reaction to the online Eta Chi induction ceremony. They have a meeting coming up with the top 10 chapters in the country – GCU is one of them – and plan to point to Friday’s event as an example of how to do it right.
“He was quite impressed,” Oke said.
Kvalvik emphasized something else in his speech: Membership in Delta Mu Delta cannot be bought. It must be earned through hard work.
That’s on the road to ingenuity, too. Now it’s up to these new members to make it worth the trip.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or email@example.com.