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ΔΟΖ fosters the personal growth of our members through
the observation and practice of leadership.

Society History

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.

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.




"Activism is the reason leaders assist with a cause that promotes the common good. It requires a leader to serve selflessly. It gives larger meaning to leadership. It can be intertwined with any leadership role. Activism is proactive and never without placement and serves as a means to balance any other leadership objective. Activism is the good that is the cause and result of leadership. "  Max Slavkin

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