The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. Foundation has launched a fundraising effort to support what it says will be a state-of-the-art learning center named for a former two-term Indiana governor. The Robert D. Orr Learning Commons, the organization says, will serve as the centerpiece for the recently-opened McCutchanville Elementary School on the city’s north side. The district describes the space as open and interactive and EVSC Foundation Executive Director Maureen Barton says it will integrate state and local history.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Barton said the namesake of the commons is significant in multiple ways. "While we were looking at it, it even became more apparent that kind of his legacy has been forgotten in Evansville," she said. "We started talking to some younger people and they didn’t even know who he was, and we thought, you know, this is even more of a reason to do this naming so we can teach future generations who he was, because he had such a big role in education for the state of Indiana."
Orr and his family lived near the location of the school for three generations. In addition to his time as governor from 1981-1989, Orr served as lieutenant governor from 1972-1980. The Yale University graduate was attending the Harvard College School of Business before the U.S. entered World War II and he joined the U.S. Army advancing from private to major. He also served as an Indiana State Senator and U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. In the private sector, Orr has also served as chairman of Indian Industries Inc. in Evansville, which was eventually acquired by Escalade Sports.
The foundation is seeking to raise $100,000 for the project. You can connect to more about the effort by clicking here.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, EVSC Foundation Executive Director Maureen Barton said the namesake of the commons is significant in multiple ways.