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Winchester Academy’s mission is to enrich the community by providing free, intellectually stimulating, informative, and engaging programs.

The name "Winchester Academy" implies a building and physical structure, but there is none. The Academy is a voluntary organization with a Board of Trustees comprised of area citizens that fosters lifelong learning based on ideas originating in Scandinavian folk academies. The Academy offers, on average, twenty-five programs annually. There is no membership required for attendance at programs. All are FREE of charge and open to the general public. Programs are usually held at the Waupaca Area Public Library on Monday evenings at 6:30. Other venues and days of the week are occasionally used for special seminars and musical programs (e.g., churches, or other sites that can accommodate larger crowds). Some programs might include controversial subject matter, but the Academy takes no position and seeks to provide balanced and reliable information.

Summer 2023 Series 

June 12, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
Beekeeping and the Honey Industry from a Waupaca Perspective

Speaker: Kent Pegorsh

Kent Pegorsh is co-owner of Main Street Marketplace on Main Street in Waupaca. He has been producing honey for 47 years and currently manages almost 500 hives. Pegorsh will discuss the beekeeping year, how some of the best honey in the world is produced in our area, and how the great migration each year of over three quarters of the managed honey bee colonies in the United States to California insure the sustainability of our food supply. The presentation will finish with a tasting of varietal honeys.

This program is sponsored by Vic and Chris Anthony

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June 19, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
Wisconsin’s Last Wild, Undeveloped Lakes

Speaker: John Bates

John Bates has authored ten books and worked as a naturalist in our Northwoods for 33 years. John has served on the Boards for the Wisconsin Nature Conservancy, River Alliance of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and he currently serves on the Board of the Northwoods Land Trust. John has a MS in Environmental Sciences from UW-Green Bay. Of Wisconsin’s over 15,000 lakes, very few wild lakes remain. These are rare places where remarkable peace and beauty abounds, and where native wildlife flourishes. Wisconsin only has around 135 undeveloped, publicly-owned wild lakes over 30 acres. Where are they? And more importantly, why should we care about protecting wild places? This presentation will spotlight a few of these lakes and the many values each offers scientifically, recreationally, aesthetically, emotionally, and ethically.

This program is sponsored by Dick Hansen

June 26, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
Jews and Muslims in Christian America

Speaker: Charles L. Cohen, PhD

Charles L. Cohen, PhD, is the E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions, Emeritus at UW-Madison. He has taught and written about colonial British North America, American religious history, and the braided histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The adjudication of religious life in the United States plays out on a field generated by, on the one hand, our Constitution and the political institutions that flow from it, and, on the other, by a religious culture that hugely values religious freedom but that has also been highly inflected by various claims that the United States is a Christian nation. These conditions create a central dilemma: Are there circumstances in which religious beliefs and the practices that issue from them make a group seem incapable of being good citizens, even though the nation’s basic values would seem to preclude religious identity as a condition of citizenship? The United States has been defined in various ways as a “Christian nation”; if so, how do Jews and Muslims fit into American society? American political and culture systems can generally handle most differences, but a few issues are explosive, particularly those that question whether a group’s religion precludes its becoming loyal to the United States, i.e., becoming American citizens.

This program is sponsored by Sue Martin

July 10, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
All of us

Speaker: Scott Hebbring, PhD

Scott Hebbring, PhD, is the Principal Investigator for All of Us at and a Research Scientist in the Center for Precision Medicine Research at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute. He completed his doctoral training at Mayo Clinic with a focus on pharmacogenomics. His current research is multidisciplinary combining statistical genetics and medical informatics with molecular biology. Our environment, lifestyle, and DNA play important roles in our health. By studying these factors, researchers may find ways to improve health for you, your family, and future generations. The All of Us Research Program is inviting people across the U.S. to help build one of the most diverse health databases in history. Scott’s program will explain how and why this project is working in Wisconsin, and what the results may mean to you

This program is sponsored by Karen Hebbring

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July 17, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
Who'll Stop the Rain:
Respect, Remembrance, & Reconciliation in
Post-Vietnam America

Speaker: Doug Bradley

Doug Bradley is Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus in the College of Letters and Sciences at UW-Madison. In their 2015 award-winning book, We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner placed popular music at the heart of the American experience in Vietnam. Over the next two years, they made more than 100 presentations coast-to-coast, witnessing honest, respectful exchanges among audience members. That journey prompted Bradley to write Who’ll Stop the Rain: Respect, Remembrance, and Reconciliation in Post-Vietnam America and to further explore how the music of the era, shared by those who served and those who stayed, helped create safe, nonjudgmental environments for listening, sharing, and understanding.

This program is sponsored by David Raether and Kim Anderson

July 24, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
Braiding Sweetgrass: 
Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Waupaca Area Public Library Community Read

Braiding Sweetgrass, is a non-fiction book by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It examines modern botany and environmentalism through the lens of the traditions and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Through a series of personal reflections, the author explores the connection between living things and human efforts to cultivate a more sustainable world.


Please pick up a copy of the the book from the Waupaca Area Public Library
and join the book discussion led by librarian Sue Abrahamson.


July 31, 2023
6:30 pm

Waupaca Area Public Library
Are Video Games Saving the World?
Should YOU be Playing Them?

Speaker: Chelsea Lovejoy, PhD

Chelsea Lovejoy, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at UW–Stout, where she has taught the psychology of video games since 2014. Talk about “the dangers” of video games fills the media–they must be right, right? But what does the research REALLY say? This presentation looks at some of the ways video games and game technology help improve the physical and social world around us and enhance human connections. We will further examine how they can support well-being, physical health, and healthy cognitive aging. Ways to start a personal mission of self-improvement, connect more meaningfully with others, and even make the world a better place, will be explored.

This program is sponsored by Ruby and Barry Shaw




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