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.

Winchester Academy's Fall Lecture Series 

Oct 3, 2022
Waupaca Library 

   Why Slavery Caused the Civil War       &  Why That Matters Today
   More than Ever

Brett Barker, PhD is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History and International Studies at UW-Stevens Point. In profound ways, the Civil War remains the central event in our nation’s history, leaving 750,000 Americans dead and ending slavery. Historians today agree that the institution of slavery, and how it made the North and South very different societies, was the root cause of the war. Yet for much of the century afterward, some Americans tried to create an alternative interpretation downplaying the significance of slavery. Confederate apologists and white supremacists continue to deny the role of slavery in the Civil War and in American history more generally. Dr. Barker will explore the connections between the Civil War, Confederate symbols, and the continuing struggle over civil rights.

Dick Hansen sponsored this program.

Nov 7, 2022
Waupaca Library 

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald: 

The Ship, the Storm, and the Song

Steve Ackerman, PhD, is Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at UW-Madison. SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. When launched on June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on the Great Lakes, and she remains the largest to have sunk there. The exact cause of the sinking remains unknown, though many books, studies, and expeditions have examined it. Professor Ackerman presents one of the best-known disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping, examines how it relates to weather conditions at the time, and discusses the song by Gordon Lightfoot.

Waupaca Foundry sponsored this program.

Oct 10, 2022
Waupaca Library 

The Art of Active Listening
“What did you say?”
“Do I really care?”

Dan Naylor will outline the importance of active listening in today’s world of conflict and lack of civility. He will present research, as well as personal and professional experience as a facilitator and mediator to answer the question – “can we truly actively listen to each other with a goal of respect and understanding?”

Naylor is a retired human service consultant, husband, father, and grandfather. After serving in the Army, Dan spent 45 years in Human Services including helping develop a Vietnam Veterans’ service center, directing an adult correctional halfway house, and a three-county AODA and mental health treatment agency including a residential center for youth. For 25 years, as a consultant Dan supported Wisconsin counties and tribes in the development of collaborative systems of care for children and adults with special needs. Dan has bachelor’s degree in Management and master’s degree in Public Administration.

Carol Elvery & Bruce Inkmann

sponsored this program.

Tim Lencki.jpg
Nov 14, 2022
Waupaca Library 

Find Your Adventure
In Waupaca

Tim Lencki, is the owner of Adventure Outfitters with three locations in the Waupaca area.  Having spent over 20 years in the fitness industry as an author, speaker, and personal trainer, he opened his business in 2013 to help people get active by providing sales, service, and outfitting of outdoor gear such as kayaks, paddleboards, bicycles, snowshoes, and XC skis to locals and people visiting the area.  The Waupaca area offers some of the finest and most diverse recreational opportunities around.  Discover exciting year-round adventure using Silent Sports as a way to refresh and help you be active.  Learn about the proper equipment needed and various locations in our area to enjoy the outdoors. 


Rich and Florence Dittle
sponsored this program.

Oct 24, 2022
Waupaca Library 

Refugee Resettlement
in Central Wisconsin

Eric Yonke, PhD, is outreach coordinator for the ECDC Multicultural Community Center in Wausau.  Previously, Yonke served as a professor of European History and Director of UW-Stevens Point's Office of International Education.  In the summer of 2021, a group of individuals from churches and civic organizations in Wausau spearheaded an effort to bring refugee resettlement to Central Wisconsin. The Afghanistan crisis was the catalyst, but the effort had its roots in the Hmong refugee experience of thirty years earlier.  Now a refugee resettlement office has been established and is bringing people from all corners of the world to Central Wisconsin. This presentation examines this first year of refugee resettlement, its challenges and its promises for the future.

Anita & Bob Olson sponsored this program.

Nov 28, 2022
Waupaca Library 

The Hidden History of Dickens’
A Christmas Carol 

Rochelle Pennington is an award-winning newspaper columnist and author. This fascinating program takes a close-up look at the literary genius of Charles Dickens, England's most celebrated Victorian novelist, and explores the hidden history behind the author's 1843 Christmas classic. What events inspired the Carol to be written? Who was it written for? How did Dickens' historical novel "single-handedly resurrect" Christmas at a time when factories were open and churches were closed on December 25th? By 1900, no other book in the world had sold more copies except the Bible. Pennington's narrative will offer factual perspective and behind-the-scenes insights into the epic influence of Dickens' immortal characters: Ebeneezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, and a trio of Christmas ghosts.

Rex and Linda Pope sponsored this program.



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