Winter Park Institute

About Us

The Winter Park Institute began its inaugural year 2008-09 as a center for intellectual engagement at Rollins College and its surrounding community.

Scholars in the Classroom

In addition to public speaking engagements, Rollins Winter Park Institute speakers take the time to meet with students and faculty at Rollins College.


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. The WPI speaker series is perhaps more important now than ever because it raises the level of discourse and exposes people—students and the broader community—to new ideas and to people making a positive difference,” says Rollins President Grant Cornwell. “We all need to be reminded that, regardless of the headlines on any given day, there are extraordinary people out there who are making the world a better place.”

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.

Scholars in the Classroom

Rollins College students have the extraordinary opportunity not only to hear public lectures on topical and engaging issues, but they are also able to interact with these distinguished visiting scholars in the classroom or in settings where more direct exchange is possible.