Winchester Academy is not a building, it’s an idea.
Created in 1973 to provide the public with free, engaging and informative programs, it aims to enrich Waupaca and surrounding communities. Speakers from all over Wisconsin and sometimes beyond, bring scholarship and expertise to their audience.
Founded in Winchester in 1973 by two University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh professors, a pastor, and an attorney, it was intended to be a free adult learning program in the tradition of the Scandinavian Folk Academy. Presentations extended to Waupaca in 1991, followed by a permanent move there in 1993.
A recent addition to regular programming was the first ever “Rolling Winchester,” a successful Saturday bus tour exploring water resources at three central Wisconsin sites. It was co-sponsored by the UW-Stevens Point Museum of Natural History, the Center for Watershed Science and Education and Trout Unlimited.
Winchester Academy continues today in its mission to provide programs about topics “from art to zoology” through a volunteer group of area citizens who comprise the Board of Trustees. Relying on program sponsorships, bequests and donations from its appreciative public, Winchester has continued to present 25-30 free programs annually, sponsoring a total of over 550 programs in Waupaca. The Board is currently taking steps to guarantee the organization’s long term survival and growth via an endowment fund.
For the fall of 2012, Winchester Academy has scehduled eight programs, all to be held at 6:30 p.m. Mondays in the lower level meeting room of the Waupaca Area Public Library. .
Sept. 10 – Joseph Janssen will present “The Minoans: Europe’s First Advanced Civilization.” Janssen is department head of social studies at Waupaca High School and has studied Minoan archaeological sites in Greece. He will present the historical and cultural significance of the ancient Minoan port city found at Akrotiri on the Mediterranean island of Santorini. The program provides additional background to the Waupaca Library’s concurrent display of photographs from Santorini by Michael Patrick.
Sept. 17 – Tom Brown will explore environmentally responsive design. Brown, a senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, designed the Mead Wildlife Area Education and Visitor Center, receiving the Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Excellence in Sustainable Design and Construction. He will present a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design solutions. Program sponsored by Judy and Ken Mueller of Weyauwega.
Sept. 24 – Mike Hoffman will discuss Menominee place names in Wisconsin. Hoffman is Cultural consultant and advisor to the Menominee Clans Story, a collection of carved figures housed in the Library at UW-Stevens Point He will examine the cultural aspects of the Menominee names of area towns, lakes and streams. He is of Menominee and Ottawa descent and a certified Menominee language instructor.
Oct. 1 – John Olson will recount his adventures while retracing John Steinbeck’s journey across America as depicted in the book, “Travels with Charley.” A Wisconsin native, Olson is the author of Down John’s Road: Recreating John steinbeck’s 1960 American Road Trip. Program sponsored by Judith and Gary Swenson of Waupaca
Oct. 15 – Dr. Elizabeth De Stasio will present “Not just for Children Anymore.” De Stasio, professor at Lawrence University, will describe the types of vaccinations that are relatively new and primarily for use in adults. Some questions she will answer include: How do vaccines work? What are they made of? What are the benefits and risks of adult vaccines? Program sponsored by Bernard Beaman in memory of his wife Barbara.
Oct. 22 – Dr. Annie Wetter will discuss “Healthy Eating: how to find reliable information and know what to do with it.” Public media abounds in advice on proper nutrition, sometimes contradictory in content. How is the general public to know what to believe? Wetter, who chairs the School of Health Promotion and Human Development at UW – Stevens Point, will provide guidance on identifying reliable sources of information and on making decisions about what to believe and what to question.
Nov. 5 – Dr. Brett Barker will present “Wisconsin in the Civil War.” A professor at UW-Marathon County, Barker will explain how Wisconsin soldiers, politicians, and ordinary civilians on the home front helped the Union win the war. Program sponsored by Gloria and Al Gruer of Waupaca.
Nov. 19 – Rochelle Pennington will present “The Christmas Tree Ship.” The Wisconsin author and storyteller will describe one of the most well-known shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan’s “Christmas Tree Ship”, which delivered holiday evergreens to Chicago before it was caught in the violent “Great Storm of 1912”, subsequently going down with the trees onboard. Program sponsored by Ann and Vance Linden of Waupaca
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