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OUR MISSION

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.

Winter / Spring Series
Our cookie sponsor for this series is Nancy Nelson.

Mar 4, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

The King Veterans’ Home:

Early History

Steven T. Sheehan, PhD, is Associate Professor of History at UW-Oshkosh-Fox Cities. The Wisconsin chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the national organization of Union Civil War veterans, established the Wisconsin Veterans’ Home in 1887. They hoped to create a facility that would allow aging and indigent veterans and their wives and widows to live out their final years in honor and comfort. GAR members believed that the presence of women residents, something unique to the Wisconsin facility at the time, would ensure moral probity and a truly “home-like” atmosphere. A number of roadblocks stood in the way of making the facility into the idyllic home that its founders envisioned. Sheehan's presentation will trace the founding of the King Veterans’ Home and the struggles of its founders, managers, and residents to make it a true home in its first 20 years of operation.

 Vance and Ann Linden sponsored this program. 

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Mar 11, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

Insights on Russia’s War Against Ukraine: Diverse Perspectives

Kirill Iliin, PhD, is an expert with 20 years of experience in business development and crisis management, specializing in WMD non-proliferation, security, and the energy sector. His work on nuclear safety projects in Ukraine, recognized by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) Visiting Fellows Grant from the U.S. Department of State in 2021, helps to address the complex socio-economic and geopolitical aspects of the Russian war in Ukraine. Drawing from his position as a Russian unable to return home, he offers insights into the war's socio-economic and geopolitical impacts. Iliin's analysis challenges prevailing Russian media narratives and examines the broader implications of the war.

Jeanne Bootz & Linda Kassera sponsored this program.

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Mar 18, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

Yes, college is worth it.
For ALL of us.

Andy J. Leavitt, PhD, is the 11th chancellor of UW-Oshkosh. As a public, regional comprehensive institution, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has endured a perfect storm of fiscal, political and unpredictable pressures over the last several years. Yet, this brand of college is resilient and still worth it for both learners, the region it calls home, and the state of Wisconsin. Chancellor Leavitt will highlight UWO’s journey, value, and continuing success in developing and retaining the talented, giving graduates our economy and society require to help Wisconsin thrive.

Dick Hansen sponsored this program.

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Apr 1, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

Memory Cafés & the
New Story about Dementia

Susan McFadden, PhD is professor emerita of Psychology at UW-Oshkosh. McFadden’s program addresses reasons why we need a new story about dementia that turns away from the dominant “tragedy narrative” in our culture. Her presentation will show how the worldwide memory café movement is creating dementia-inclusive communities where people living with all types of this brain disorder can experience joy, meaning, and friendship. Examples from the work of Fox Valley Memory Project will demonstrate the many ways memory cafés ease isolation and create meaningful connections among people dealing with dementia.

Marsha Mueller & David Stoiber sponsored this program.

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Apr 15, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

What Makes the Human Brain Unique?

Andre M. M. Sousa, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at UW-Madison. Sousa will present and discuss the differences between the human brain and the brains of other primate species. This program will include the discussion of brain size, number of neurons, brain connectivity, and overall organization of the circuits that govern some of our most complex behaviors. He will also discuss how the differences we observe are generated throughout development. Finally, Sousa will discuss how some of the differences that likely underlie cognitive differences might have made our brains more vulnerable to neuropsychiatric disorders.

Diane Forsythe sponsored this program.

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Apr 29, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

Growing up Farley: A Story of Addiction, Love, and Forgiveness

Tom Farley, grew up in Madison, WI and graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Marketing. He began his career in banking and finance, living and working in the New York City area. From 1999 to 2012, he ran The Chris Farley Foundation, a nationally recognized non-profit dedicated to substance abuse prevention. Like his brother, Tom was successful in opening the “eyes and ears” of youth audiences through the powerful and effective use of humor. In 2008 he wrote “The Chris Farley Show”, a New York Time bestselling biography of his late brother, the actor and comedian Chris Farley.Tom chronicles his lifelong journey with his brother, the late actor Chris Farley. Touching on lessons learned from Chris and his struggles with addiction, Tom begins by speaking about his brother’s addiction and the effects it had on his family, and specifically, himself. He talks about how we all play roles as first responders to our friends and loved ones suffering addiction and mental health concerns. Tom discusses his own journey in recovery and his work as an advocate for those with substance use disorders. He relates stories about the pandemic and touches on how it has affected so many substance use disorder survivors and beyond; focused on how we can find healing and connection in the midst of fear and tragedy. Using humor, the family gift, Tom approaches these difficult topics with compassion, generosity, and aplomb. Not to be missed. Tom Farley is the New York Times bestselling author of “The Chris Farley Show, a Biography in Three Acts.”

Pat and Mary Phair sponsored this program.

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