SummORR Recap

Orr Fellows enjoy summer in the city alongside each other, alumni, and community members

The summertime is always jam-packed with exciting plans whether it be relaxing with family and friends to jet-setting across the world to a new destination. 

Orr Fellows had a summer to remember here in Indy, full of community building, insightful programming, and fun in the sun! Keep reading to explore what Orr Fellowship has been up to during the summer months.

DEI Welcome Picnic 

To kick off the summer, Orr Fellowship’s DEI team hosted a Welcome Picnic at Eagle Creek State. The evening was full of incredible food, community building and meaningful conversations centered around Pride Month and Juneteenth. Both first and second year fellows had the opportunity to spend quality time connecting and participating in outdoor activities together as a community. 

Payton Hodson, DEI Programming and Education Coordinator, reflected on the success of the picnic, “The DEI Team greatly appreciates all the first and second years joining us for a beautiful evening at the park, building a stronger sense of community by fostering connections early and often. We are thankful for the opportunity to recognize and celebrate Juneteenth and Pride Month and continue to learn more about these important days together.”

Race to Recruitment Kickoff & Quarter 1 Social 

In June, Orr Fellows geared up and hit the track for the first Race to Recruitment event. Just one mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, fellows heard from Olivia Carrier, Director of Recruitment, met their recruitment teams, and raced go karts around a two story racing track. On the line were 10 points for the overall Race to Recruitment challenge, with the Ball State University team emerging the victors. Through this event, first and second-year fellows were able to connect and socialize, and all fellows were able to have a clear goal for the upcoming recruitment season.

“I wanted to do an event to kickoff recruitment that would be fun, something that would get people jazzed for recruitment season,” Carrier said. “With the go karting event going along with our Indy 500- themed recruitment competition, it made perfect sense to make this our kickoff. It was such a fun and competitive night!”

Fourth of July Celebrations 

Second year Kendall Fahey welcomed fellows downtown to celebrate the July 4th holiday and watch the city fireworks from a parking garage near Mass Ave. “It was amazing to see fellows getting together for the fireworks and even running into each other. We had a great time exploring downtown Indy and seeing how the Indy community can bring people together,” Fahey shared. Spontaneous get-togethers and run-ins with fellows is a common occurrence in Orr Fellowship and truly makes Indianapolis feel like home.  

Recruitment DEI Training 

In mid-July, fellows were able to combine recruitment training with DEI learning in a powerful seminar. After hearing some essentials regarding the recruitment process from recruitment director Olivia Carrier and full time staff member Catherine Mazanek, fellows got the chance to learn from Marcos Navarro Garcia, a DEI specialist from Aspire Indiana Health. 

Topics discussed included various forms of bias, how to avoid bias and discrimination in recruitment, and how fellows can leverage their personal stories to connect meaningfully with others. Such insights will have a pivotal effect on the way fellows approach the upcoming recruitment season and navigate aspects of everyday life in a more equitable manner.

Mark and Karen Hill Alumni Event 

Later in July, current fellows and alumni met at Newfields Beer Garden for a night of memories, laughs, and insights at the annual Mark and Karen Hill Alumni Event. This flagship event represents one of Orr Fellowship’s most beloved traditions where all 500+ Alumni are invited to reconnect with the Orr community and enjoy an evening of friendship and reflection. 

Bo Dierdrick of the Dietrick Company spoke to begin the night, introducing the longstanding Orr tradition. Fellows got to hear from Mark Hill, who originated this event in his backyard and who spoke on the impact that young professionals like Fellows can have on the world. Finally, Max Yoder and Conner Burt reminisced about their time in the fellowship, their families, and the creation of, Orr Fellowship’s active members and talented alumni continually make this event a night to remember year after year!

Pods and Squads Hangouts 

New to Orr Fellowship this summer, pod and squad groups represent small collections of first year (pods) and second year (squads) fellows 

Emily Gasparro is a second year fellow, who joined the Chief of Staff team as a Culture CultivatoORR. Her team piloted this revamped Orr community initiative, creating “pod and squad” groups for fellows to lean on. “With the goal to foster fellowship connection and mentorship, we have watched new relationships flourish within these groups. I am excited to see all the fun things these crews will do this year!”

Pod and squad hangouts provide an opportunity for all fellows to connect with individuals in the program of diverse interests, career paths, and personalities. Throughout the summer, these groups have connected in varying spots across Indianapolis, to celebrate their newfound community among one another. Whether it be grabbing ice cream in Broad Ripple or going for a walk on the canal downtown, these hangouts were a meaningful addition to a packed summer of fun. 

Summer Sweat Series

Running all summer long (no pun intended), Orr Fellowship’s Summer Sweat Series is a Wellness Team initiative that encourages all fellows to explore all that the city has to offer when it comes to staying active. Fellows sweat their way through the summer participating in events such as rock climbing at North Mass Boulder, sunrise yoga on the canal, a HIIT session at the Indiana War Memorial, an olympic-style strength circuit at a local farm, a slow flow practice at YogaSix, and even more. 

Fellows recently capped off their summer of wellness with a bike ride through Indianapolis that ended in a celebratory gathering at Half Liter in Broad Ripple. The excitement for next year’s Summer Sweat Series is already building as fellows leave the summer feeling refreshed and eager to maintain their active lifestyles throughout the year!

ADVISA Leadership Training

In late August, both first and second years participated in ADVISA, a series of workshops meant to develop strategic leadership skills for its participants. Orr Fellowship’s partnership with ADVISA demonstrates the value of continued learning as a core experience in the fellowship. 

First years began their first workshop, learning about different leadership archetypes and the impact that leadership has on others, taking time to personally reflect on their experiences with leaders in their lives. Second years, in their fifth session, explored the meaning of influence and how to best leverage themselves for success during pivotal presentations. ADVISA sessions will continue to have meaningful results for fellows all throughout the year.

Boat Day at Lake Monroe 

Each year, on one of the last Saturdays in August, Orr Fellowship packs up and heads to Lake Monroe for an adventure-filled boat day in the sun. This annual tradition is enjoyed by all fellows as it provides an opportunity to step away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and spend a relaxing day together as a community. 

First-year fellow Abe Wojtalik enjoyed his first boating experience with Orr Fellowship. “Once we took off on the waters of Monroe, everyone was able to share in the enjoyment of good weather, warm water and meticulously packed lunches (most of which were shared). Experiencing a full day of fun together has left me with many lasting memories!” Wojtalik shared.  

Whether it was zooming down the double decker slide, floating with friends in the water, or suntanning on the pontoons, it’s safe to say that plenty of memories are made.

Sneak Peak to Fall Retreat 

In just a few short weeks, Orr Fellowship will come together again for its annual Fall Retreat. This day is yet another embodiment of the value of community and commitment to one another. 

Last year, this retreat provided an opportunity for fellows to participate in Olympic-style team activities and compete against one another. Fellows were enabled to push themselves outside of their comfort zones, all while surrounded by supporting peers. Stay tuned for what this year has in store!