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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.

In January this year we announced the establishment of an academic scholarship of $1,000 from Winchester Academy.
The deadline for on-line applications is June 1st.  

Summer Series Information
Our cookie sponsor for this series is Althea Kortenhof.

Jun 10, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

Organ, Tissue & Eye Donation -
The Ripple Effect

Erin Halpin, RN, and mother and colleague Joy Reichenbach, RN, will discuss the importance and rarity of Organ Donation as well as help dispel common myths related to all forms of donation. They will review advancements in organ donation and transplantation over the past 20 years, and include several stories and follow-up from various donor families and recipients that have been touched by the gift of life. Erin has been an RN for 19 years, having graduated from Creighton University School of Nursing. She began her career in the ICU at Creighton University Medical Center, then worked in the ICU at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay upon returning to Wisconsin, and finally in the ICU at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center - Neenah, where she remained (with additional moonlighting in the ER & 5 years work as a Paramedic) until her transition to the University of Wisconsin Organ Procurement Organization six years ago. Some of her favorite patients to care for in the ICU were the organ donor heroes and their families. Being able to help create a lasting legacy and care for not just the single donor hero, but seeing them as the up to 8 potential recipients who were being given a second chance at life fueled her passion. Of note, Erin is homegrown from Waupaca, having been born and raised in the city, graduating from Waupaca High School in 1999. Her colleague (and mother) Joy Reichenbach has been an RN for 13 years, having graduated from Fox Valley Technical College. She started her career in the Med Surg Unit at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center- Appleton, then worked in the ICU at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah and now also works at the UW OPO. She was the Valedictorian of the Waupaca High School class of 1979. She has had a passion for helping take care of families & people at end of life since serving as a Stevens Minister in the 1990’s.

Barry and Ruby Shaw sponsored this program.

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Jun 17, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

The History of Björklunden Vid Sjön:
A Door County Retreat

Tom McKenzie is the Director of Björklunden, Lawrence University’s north campus and 441-acre retreat center located in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin. From an idyllic estate to an enchanting retreat center, McKenzie will chart the history of this remarkable property located south of Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin. Rooted in the vision Winifred Boynton, this site for peace and contemplation provides an embrace of Scandinavian architecture and at its center features an iconic hand carved and painted Norwegian “stavkirke” chapel. Over the hour, you will learn about the well-preserved geology and ecology, the flora and fauna, and how the land changed hands and was ultimately generously gifted to Lawrence University. We’ll dive deep into the remarkable artistry of Winifred and Donald Boynton and discuss their intention to ring peace into the world with building of their chapel during World War II. We’ll conclude with ways that the campus is used today and how this site offers models for the future.

McKenzie also volunteers in leadership capacities with the Door County Climate Change Coalition, Peninsula Arts and Humanities Alliance, and the Door Kinetic Art Festival. He returned to Door County in 2022 after living in Los Angeles and working in the arts and education sectors in both government and nonprofit settings. Prior to that he co-founded the Peninsula Pulse newspaper in Door County with fellow Lawrence University graduate David Eliot. Each

day he is thrilled to be living on the Björklunden property with his wife Jill, their daughter Flora, and dog Rosie.

Kathleen Daley sponsored this program.

Jun 24, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

To Save a City: The Berlin Airlift

Christopher L. Kolakowski is Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, will discuss the Berlin Blockade (June 24, 1948 - May 12, 1949) as well as the resultant Berlin Airlift which was in some ways the first battle of the Cold War. It will set the stage for events to come. It was also one of the great moments for the newly independent US Air Force. Chris’s talk explores the blockade, the airlift, and its importance in history.

Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va, but his mother’s family has very deep roots in the Badger State. Chris received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany. He has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, the U.S. Army, and the MacArthur Memorial and has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of military history and leadership from 1775 to the present, and was the inaugural Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Kolakowski has published three books on the Civil War and three on World War II in the Pacific. He is a reviewer and contributor to the Air Force Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs and a Senior Fellow at the Consortium of Indo-Pacific Researchers. His latest book, titled Tenth Army Commander, is about General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., who was killed in battle on Okinawa.

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

Histories of Mexican Wisconsin

Sergio M. González is Assistant Professor of History at Marquette University. A historian of twentieth-century U.S. migration, labor, and religion, his scholarship focuses on the development of Latino communities in the U.S. Midwest. For more than a century, Mexican immigrants and migrants have turned their sights northward to Wisconsin in search of a stable and secure future for themselves and their families. Today, more than a half a million people of Mexican descent call the state home. Sergio González, author of Mexicans in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), delves into the stories and challenges of these resilient communities, from the farmworkers who helped make Wisconsin America's breadbasket in the mid twentieth century, to the labor organizers who fought for better living and working conditions in the civil rights era, to the everyday families who continue to make space for themselves all across the state today.

Jul 22, 2024
6:30 pm
Waupaca Area Public Library

The Prosecutor's Art - 

From the Streets to the Suites to the Oval Office

Charlie Schudson is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Wisconsin Law School. For many years, he was a state and federal prosecutor, and a trial and appellate judge. Charlie also served as the “Law and Literature Scholar in Residence” at Lawrence, as an adjunct professor of law at Marquette and Wisconsin, and as a Fulbright Scholar at law schools abroad. He is the author of many published works including Independence Corrupted / How America’s Judges Make Their Decisions (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018).

Street crime, white collar crime, presidential crime … whatever the crime, prosecutors must direct investigations and build cases, then present them to judges and juries. How do they do it? Does 

the Constitution restrain them? Do their own constitutions guide them? Do corruption and politics influence them? And what about the special challenges for Robert Mueller and any others who might dare to prosecute a president? Join us for a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a world most of us experience vicariously.

Tom and Hope Olson sponsored this program.

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

Music and the Human Spirit

Dan Cavanagh, Director of the Mead Witter School of Music and Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at UW-Madison, will talk about his experiences as a composer and pianist paired alongside recent advances in neuroscience and aesthetics that illuminate why music is uniquely important to our varied experiences as human beings. He will discuss how composers, performers, and conductors partner with listeners in the moment to create an environment conducive to considering the human spirit, our place in this universe, and our relationships with each other and the world.

Dan Cavanagh is a composer and pianist with numerous awards in both areas. He has performed extensively in North America and Europe, and his music continues to be performed across the globe by classical and jazz artists alike. His music can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, and he has released five recordings as a leader. In addition to composing and performing, he is interested in the way music and the arts serve to shed light on what it means to be human.

Linda and Rex Pope sponsored this program.

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