8 Ways to Celebrate Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day

February 08, 2022

By Office of Marketing

From crafting custom notes and shopping for sustainable gifts to assembling meal kits and building a home, Rollins has created an array of ways to honor our 12th president’s legacy of kindness and service on February 17.

Rollins’ 12th president, Thaddeus Seymour ’82HAL ’90H, and his widow, Polly, are renowned for their decades of service in the local community. For the second consecutive year, the College will honor the former first couple’s legacy of kindness and philanthropy by celebrating Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, 2022.

Led by the Center for Leadership & Community Engagement, Rollins has organized a collection of opportunities that will allow each student and every faculty and staff member to celebrate the Seymours and serve our community through simple acts of kindness. Here are eight ways you can get involved.

Students create color drawings and messaging with sidewalk chalk.Students create color drawings and messaging with sidewalk chalk.
Photo by Scott Cook.

1. Create colorful messages of kindness

Thad’s favorite Robert Frost poem, “Dust of Snow,” celebrates how a brief encounter in nature can lift a mood. To trigger similar moments of uplift, inspirational messages will grace the walkways of America’s most beautiful campus on Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day. Meet up with student representatives from Omicron Delta Kappa between 8:30 and 10 a.m. on Tars Plaza and contribute to the community’s outpouring of good vibes by creating your own sidewalk chalk messages. Think of it as a fun way to carry forward Thad’s reputation for colorful storytelling.

The labyrinth and meditation garden at Rollins College.The labyrinth and meditation garden at Rollins College.
Photo by Scott Cook.

2. Walk for peace

Rollins’ new campus labyrinth and meditation garden—situated just east of the new Mister Rogers sculpture—is an ideal space for reflection and building community. Join Rev. Katrina Jenkins, Rollins’ dean of religious and spiritual life, for an interactive labyrinth walk from 11 a.m. to noon. As you traverse the labyrinth’s spiraling paver patterns, you’ll unplug from distractions and focus on how to spread kindness in the Rollins community and beyond.

Knowles Memorial ChapelKnowles Memorial Chapel
Photo by Scott Cook.

3. Honor Thad just by listening

Keep your ears perked at 12:12 p.m. because the bell in the Knowles Memorial Chapel will ring a dozen times in honor of Rollins’ 12th president.

A student holds two handmade cards up to the camera.A student holds two handmade cards up to the camera.
Photo by Scott Cook.

4. Show your appreciation

A handwritten note is one of the simplest and most effective ways to demonstrate your appreciation. Swing by the Campus Center between 12:30 and 2 p.m. and craft a note expressing your gratitude for one of your professors, classmates, or staff mentors. Omicron Delta Kappa will provide all the card-making materials—you supply the sentiment.

An assembly line builds meal kits.An assembly line builds meal kits.
Photo by Scott Cook.

5. Help fight hunger in our community

Food insecurity is one of the most pressing needs at this time, with one in four Americans unsure of where to find their next nutritious meal. Make an immediate difference to local families by helping U.S. Hunger assemble 10,000 meal kits. You’ll measure and bag up shelf-stable foods in a fun, socially distanced assembly line at Dave’s Boathouse from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sign up for one of two hour-long shifts.

Two college students work on a Habitat for Humanity house build.Two college students work on a Habitat for Humanity house build.
Photo by Scott Cook.

6. Build with Habitat for Humanity of Winter Park

One of President Seymour’s lasting legacies stands in the numerous homes he helped build with Habitat for Humanity. He co-founded the nonprofit’s Winter Park-Maitland branch in the late ’80s with local homebuilder Hal George ’76 and served as its chairman until his death at age 91. Grab a hammer in Thad’s honor and contribute to the organization’s latest project—a house located less than a mile from campus. The two-hour project starts at 2:30 p.m. Be sure to sign up in advance because space is limited.

Three college students shop for produce at a farmers marketThree college students shop for produce at a farmers market
Photo by Scott Cook.

7. Shop the inaugural TARmer’s Market

Support local artisans and enjoy an array of healthy foods and handcrafted products at the first-ever TARmer’s Market on Mills Lawn from 4 to 6 p.m.

A hand holding a silver dollarA hand holding a silver dollar
Photo by Scott Cook.

8. Carry on a signature tradition

Thad was famous for carrying a silver dollar in his pocket at all times. He would pluck one out and hand it to someone he saw engaging in a random act of kindness, such as picking up litter on campus.

“It doesn’t count if you see me coming and ‘fake it,’” he once explained. “But if you’ll care about the campus for real, I’ll give you that real silver dollar by way of thanks and admiration.”

To reflect that message of service and moments of serendipity, a handful of campus representatives will be roaming campus, armed with silver dollars and ready to recognize random acts of kindness in our community.

A Legacy of Kindness and Service

Learn more about the Seymours and their impact in our community.

Read More

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