Jan 28, 2013 | Atlanta, GA
In 1974, then-student David D. Flanagan and a small group of other Georgia Tech students, traveling with now-retired physics professor, Miller Templeton, piloted the first ORGT (Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech) Expedition. They backpacked the Grand Canyon then rafted the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. For them it was an epic journey and the basis for valuable life lessons. Little did they know that their "experiment" would become the foundation for formative experiences for many Georgia Tech students.
In 2004, the same David D. Flanagan, IE 1976, who credits some of his career success to lessons learned as a member of ORGT, established and funded the David D. Flanagan Endowment for Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech to enhance and expand expedition experiences for Georgia Tech students. The endowed funds have since provided financial support for student-planned and -led expeditions to awesome locations: backpacking in Yellowstone, climbing at Texas' Heuco Tanks; caving in Mexico, canyoneering in Utah, and trekking in France (see photo insert of students reaching the summit of Mont Blanc in France).
This endowment has also made possible other ORGT expeditions including the Tech Treks freshman only expeditions to Alaska and Minnesota, as well as the adventure trips in China with study abroad students.
In 2012, energized by reports of how the endowment funds were adding energy to and fueling an expansion of ORGT, Mr. Flanagan made an additional gift to the Flanagan Endowment in ORGT. As a result of his generosity, more than $20K each year is granted back to students to support expeditions and the required 3-10 month pre-trip planning & training.
In 2013, grants have been awarded to three ORGT teams to subsidize a sea kayaking expedition to Scotland, canyoneering out west, and whitewater kayaking in the Patagonia region of Chile. Each expedition will recruit a team of 12 who will meet weekly to plan, participate in team development exercises, and work together on at least three weekend training trips.
David Flanagan will tell you that his ORGT involvement changed his life. For him, it proved as important as anything learned in the classroom. That's why he is investing in ORGT expeditions. He does express an important expectation to those who benefit from the endowment funds: "In 20 years or so, they too need to give back to the next generation of Tech students. I would like them to consider their endowment experiences a “loan” they should repay in some way to future Tech students, either with their time, council, or dollars."
ORGT, part of the Campus Recreation's Outdoor Recreation department, is comprised currently of over 160 student and alumni volunteers, who collectively contribute more than 20,000 hours of service to providing adventure experiences for about 5,000 Tech students. For more information about opportunities, visit www.crc.gatech.edu/orgt.