Auburn Tradition | Foy ODK Trophy
On July 13, 1948, the two Circles of Omicron Delta Kappa from Auburn University and the University of Alabama joined together to sponsor a trophy devoted to sportsmanship between the two universities. This trophy is a tradition that symbolizes the good relationship between the two schools.
Originally the trophy was displayed in Birmingham in a store window the week prior to the football game at Legion Field. Then, in a parade preceding the game, the trophy would be carried in a convertible with the ODK presidents from each school on either side. The parade was stopped in the 1960's, but the trophy continues to be awarded.
In January 1978, the trophy was dedicated to James E. Foy, V upon his retirement as the Dean of Student Affairs at Auburn University. He began serving in that position in 1950 after serving as Assistant Dean of Students at The University of Alabama. Dean Foy served as Faculty Secretary, the key campus faculty officer in ODK, at both universities. He was also very active in ACHS and as a national officer for Phi Eta Sigma.
The trophy is awarded to the winner of the season's football game at halftime of the Auburn-Alabama basketball game on the winner's home court. The trophy remains in their care until the next year's presentation. At Auburn, the trophy was often displayed in the Foy Union Building, but currently it is displayed at the Jonathan B. Lovelace Museum & Hall of Honor inside Auburn Arena.
It has become a tradition that the ODK contingent from the losing school is treated to dinner by the winning school prior to the basketball game. The ODK President from the losing school then makes a speech at midcourt presenting the trophy to the ODK President of the winning school (usually accompanied by the head coach and members of the football team).
One of the hazards of moving the silver trophy back and forth between Auburn and Tuscaloosa is the wear and the tendency to grasp the punter on top of the trophy while handling it (silver is not very strong, especially after repeated repairs with heat).
On one of the trips in the mid-90s to Auburn, the University of Alabama contingent of ODK officers was still busily trying to put the trophy back together again just outside of the main Coliseum floor at Auburn in time for the halftime ceremonies. It was clear that something had to be done. The talents of Bill Holbrook, a master machinist in the Aerospace Engineering shop at Auburn, were utilized to insert a strong steel rod through the inside of the punter. To date, this repair has withstood the rigors of travel.