A University of Mississippi student’s leadership and involvement in the Lambda Sigma honor society for sophomores has been recognized with a scholarship from the national organization.
Olivia Jordan, of Grove Hill, Alabama, is one of five students nationwide chosen to receive the Lambda Sigma National Scholarship. The national honor society for second-year men and women is dedicated to fostering leadership, scholarship, fellowship and the spirit of service among college students.
Jordan said she plans to use the award to help fund her final undergraduate year at the university.
“I was genuinely surprised to find out I was awarded the scholarship and very grateful to have been chosen,” said Jordan, a junior public policy leadership major with minors in international studies and digital media studies. “I am lucky to have such incredible experiences with my local Lambda Sigma chapter and with the national organization.”
Ryan Upshaw, who served as staff adviser to UM’s Iota chapter of Lambda Sigma for five years, said Jordan was an outstanding leader for the chapter.
“She kept the chapter going through the COVID-19 pandemic and the selection of this year’s members,” said Upshaw, who has served on the organization’s national board since 2017. “The national scholarships from Lambda Sigma are very competitive, and Olivia is very deserving of this honor.”
During her year as president, Jordan said she was most proud of the individuals she served alongside.
“We had an incredible group last year who made every service project and every meeting such an exciting and fulfilling task,” she said. “They were willing to show up and participate, no matter what was asked of them, and they truly made my term as president worthwhile.”
Chapters serve their campuses by assisting with freshman orientation, tutoring, serving as big brother/sisters, guiding campus tours, ushering at special events, sponsoring a college quiz bowl, or cleaning up the campus. Many chapters are also involved in community service through projects such as visiting the elderly or handicapped, raising money for local and national charitable organizations, assisting with voter registration or organizing blood drives.
Each chapter also conducts activities to inform, select and initiate new members in accordance with the rituals of national Lambda Sigma. While Jordan found it difficult to pinpoint which chapter accomplishment she is most proud of, she said she takes great pride that the Ole Miss chapter was recognized by the Associated Student Body for its service to the campus and the greater Oxford community.
The National Presidents’ Leadership Conference is hosted annually to bring Lambda Sigma presidents together to share ideas among chapters. Due to COVID-19, this year’s conference was held virtually.
“I have received academic awards at the University of Mississippi, and I have been honored to participate in and be recognized by several campus organizations,” Jordan said. “However, this award is different because it is much bigger than any campuswide involvement or award I could receive at the University of Mississippi.”
By Edwin B. Smith