The OΔK fountain at the center of McKeldin Mall holds a special a place in the hearts of alumni and students alike – especially now for one of UMD’s famous graduates, Scott Van Pelt.

Members of the Sigma Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa surprised the ESPN host and University of Maryland alumnus Friday by tapping him for membership into the exclusive society at the Race, Social Class and Professional Golf Symposium.

When informed his name would appear on the fountain, Van Pelt managed to squeak out one word:


It’s uncommon for the national leadership honor society to tap alumni, but according to circle Vice President Ian Moritz, inducting Van Pelt was an easy decision.

“The selection process was highlighted for two main reasons,” the senior finance and management major said. “His success in journalism and the mass media – being an ESPN host – incorporates one of our pillars of leadership. The second is his contributions here on campus.”

Moritz said Van Pelt’s constant presence on campus helps facilitate its culture.

“To build culture takes immense leadership,” he said. “He’s helped our culture in so many ways. He is always coming back and shining a spotlight on Maryland.”

Van Pelt is one of 49 individuals tapped for membership in Omicron Delta Kappa this year. The pool includes undergraduate and graduate students who applied for membership and faculty, alumni and honorary members who were nominated. Induction is April 3 at the Memorial Chapel.

“I’m like Santa Claus at the mall right now,” Van Pelt said when posing for a picture with the ODK members. “This is incredibly kind! I’m so glad I was nice to you last night.”