ΔΟΖ fosters the personal growth of our members through
the observation and practice of leadership.
Delta Omicron Zeta, founded at the University of Southern California in 2008, is a co-educational professional collegiate society organized to foster personal growth in a diverse community of leaders through self-understanding and the collective observation and practice of leadership.
The purpose of Delta Omicron Zeta is to provide a space on college campuses for leaders to utilize each other as resources, therefore becoming more effective student leaders. The society aims to enhance the personal leadership of members so they may further develop skills that will ultimately benefit the group(s) in which they are involved.
While many social programs encourage leadership development as a means to an end, leadership is the focus of our society, not a byproduct. To do this, we create the time and space in our chapter meetings and events to cultivate self-reflection, inspire relationship building, and demand action in leadership. ΔΟΖ Active and Journeymen programming challenge USC's top student leaders to refine their perspectives, strengths, and leadership strategies by understanding how their own tactics relate to those of others.
Our society was founded in the Spring Semester of 2008 with a vision for Leadership Development.
In the spring semester of 2008 at the University of Southern California, seven leaders were brought together in a course taught by USC President Dr. Steven B. Sample and leadership guru Dr. Warren G. Bennis. This course, MDA 365: The Art and Adventure of Leadership, focused intensively upon leadership development, bringing together some of the most prolific leaders on campus to study past leaders, collaborate with one another, dialogue about issues facing the world, and listen to lectures by guests such as Sidney and Jane Harman, Paul Orfalea, Michael Dukakis, Pete Carroll, and David Gergen.
One of the focuses of the class was a group project with a simple objective: to observe and practice leadership. As long as the project accomplished that sole requirement, the group was free to come up with any project it wished. Seven leaders – Christopher Cass, Raquel Lucente, Jeffrey Okita, Kristen Priddy, Max Slavkin, Mike Thomsen, and Miya Williams – were teamed up to complete this group project.
The brainstorming began in the USC Naval ROTC lounge and continued for another two weeks. Then on February 12, 2008, Mike Thomsen offhandedly suggested the creation of a leadership society. Met with a little bit of skepticism, a little intrigue, and a lot of passion, the idea began to grow. The seven founders saw an opportunity in that there were no existing professional societies whose focus was to actively train their members to further their development as leaders. Thus, our society, originally named Delta Omega Zeta, was formed. In January 2010 our name was changed to Delta Omicron Zeta in order to facilitate the process of incorporation and expansion.
The Seven Founding Principles of ΔΟΖ are: Activism, Ambition, Enthusiasm, Integrity, Judgment, Passion, and Perseverance.