New York City is as bright and diverse as the advertisements glowing in Times Square; think city lights, street performers, pizza joints, traffic, smog and storefront windows, each a single stroke in the city’s signature. For writer Tom Wolfe, a visitor has as much right as any resident to call these city lights his or her own: “One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” The 2017 Bodenhamer Fellows found Wolfe’s words to be true: they spent five days in the city at the beginning of August, and came away not only as New Yorkers, but also as friends.

The annual trip is funded by Dr. Lee Bodenhamer, trustee of the Bodenhamer Foundation and namesake of the prestigious $70,000 fellowship. The trip is a way for each new cohort of “Bodies” (pronounced BOW-dees — we’re not talking about the bodies we live in!) to get to know each other before the start of the school year. New York served as the ideal setting for Anna Fisher, Hannah Gray, Samuel Lipson, Andrew Palmer, Grace Roberts and Savannah Seupaul to do just that. “Figuring out subway routes and scouting out restaurants has been the best possible bonding experience,” Savannah says.

The Bodies’ trip was a whirlwind of art, culture, history and entertainment. From tours of a defunct Ellis Island hospital and the United Nations headquarters to trips to the MET, the Guggenheim and Broadway, the students were given a taste of some of the best that the Big Apple has to offer. Interwoven into this academic schedule were some New York staples: the Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Brooklyn Bridge, and of course a baseball game at Yankee Stadium.

On their final day the Bodies were, as Samuel puts it, “let loose into the city.” The fellows spread out according to their diverse interests, some heading to Wall Street while others explored the city’s famous bakeries or visited the ritzy shops on Madison Avenue. For Grace Roberts, this was the perfect way to end the trip: “It ended up being so special and fun; each of us was able to cross some final stops off the list. Hannah and I immediately headed to the Flat Iron building to marvel at its architecture from up close.”

Photos were taken by the awesome Whit Pruitt of University Relations, unless otherwise noted.

Once settled into the city, the Bodies took to the High Line. Says Samuel about that first day with the other fellows, “I knew that we all had academic prowess in common, but I was nervous our different backgrounds might set us apart. Quite contrarily, I was able to gain a whole new perspective on life in a matter of hours. The Bodies have so much to offer each other, and I’m proud to be a part of them.”

For Andrew Palmer, the visit to the United Nations was without a doubt the highlight of the trip: “I had been looking forward to the United Nation tour for months. The Model UN was my favorite activity in high school so seeing the real building in person was magnificent.  It is impossible to see the great General Assembly hall and not feel the gravity of the world-changing decisions made in that room. My Model UN friends back home were jealous. I made sure to buy plenty of memorabilia from the gift shop to decorate my dorm room.”

Anna Fisher is front of the line on the Brooklyn Bridge! For Anna, Sleep No More, a harrowing and spooky reimagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, was the part of the trip she looked forward to the most. She calls the play “suspenseful, artistic, and frightening,” and says, “I couldn’t think of a more unique thing to see in New York…This city has so much to offer!”

Here Grace Roberts and Savannah Seupaul pose beneath the Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village. Savannah shares Samuel’s sentiment about the value of different perspectives: “Being among such diverse peers has allowed me to appreciate parts of this city that would have gone unnoticed.”

Hannah Gray is an architecture major with an eye for angles and lighting. Here she is capturing the perfect ceiling shot. We also have Hannah to thank for the amazing picture of the Guggenheim Museum below.

Throughout the trip, Hannah had architecture on the brain. She had this to say about the Guggenheim, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: “As wonderful as the art was, I couldn’t get over the building. As you walk along the ramp, nothing seems to dramatically change; the floors and railings are uniform as you make your way down. I’ve heard it compared to a continuous wave that never crashes.”

Just as you can’t go to Chicago without trying some deep dish, you can’t travel to New York City without digging into a foldable NYC slice! Samuel Lipson is concentrating on getting the pliable pizza safely to his plate.

A huge shout-out to Bret and Stephanie Schulte for accompanying the Bodies and helping make the trip a success! Here they are posing in Razorback cardinal and white on the city High Line.

We indoctrinate them early! These college freshmen haven’t even moved into their dorm rooms yet, and they’re already calling the Hogs from Times Square. Not only are our Bodenhamer Fellows bright, motivated and creative – they have school spirit too!

“Last, we all headed to the Empire State Building, which may have been my favorite part of the whole trip,” writes Grace. “I could’ve looked at the skyline from the top all night.”

One of the most rewarding aspects of the Bodenhamer Fellowship is the strong bonds built and preserved among current fellows and alumni – the Bodies often refer to themselves as family. Here the new fellows have dinner with alumni Drew Cogbill and Danis Copenhaver, who gave the freshmen plenty of wisdom and advice to help them through their transition to college.