The Winter Park Institute began its inaugural year 2008-09 as a center for intellectual engagement at Rollins College and its surrounding community. Through public lectures and readings, symposiums, seminars, master classes, interviews, and special-interest sessions the Institute brings together thought leaders from a broad spectrum of disciplines and expertise. This scholarly exchange is designed to foster enlightened and on-going conversation at the academy and to enhance the mission of developing a liberally educated citizenry.
Famed educator John Dewey believed that “Democracy has to be born anew with every generation and education is the midwife.” Rollins College has long advocated this philosophy and actively works to further the ideals it represents. As Rollins current president, Lewis M. Duncan, charges: “Should we not invest some essential time exploring the fundamental concerns facing the world today and giving thought to the great issues challenging the human condition?”
Answering such a call, Rollins has launched the Winter Park Institute (WPI) to establish an atmosphere of enlightened conversation and capture the synergy created when scholars share information, debate issues and shed light on a variety of significant, timely topics. The Institute features discussions between the Rollins community and thought leaders from diverse fields who are invited for limited residencies. Seminars, lectures, readings, master classes, performances, open discussions, exhibits, and a variety of gatherings provide the forum for such exchanges.