Our free programs are open to everyone on Mondays beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Waupaca Area Public Library. Coffee and cookies are served at 6:00 P.M. 

If cancellation is required, an announcement will be made on WDUX & Facebook. To receive-mail notification of each program, please subscribe to our email list.

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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.


Lecture Series

Winter/ Spring Lecture Series

Apollo 50 Years After –

What Now?

The Winter/Spring Lecture Series is starting to come together.


As speakers and subjects are scheduled, they will be listed below. 

Feb 10, 2020

WaupacaPublic Library

Green Burial

James Olson will be the speaker.

Feb 17, 2020

Waupaca Public Library

Animal Use in Biomedical Research

Dr. Peter Gasper, DVM, is a local practicing veterinarian. He is a board certified member of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.
Using animals in biomedical research is at the epicenter two important emotionally-charged questions that Dr. Gasper will address. 1) How are human beings different than other living organisms? 2) What are the ethics of using animals in biomedical research?
He will conclude by presenting why he feels using animals in biomedical research is necessary in this twenty first century.

Mar 2, 2020

Waupaca Public Library

Fantastic Fungi: Movers and
Shapers of Forest Ecosystems

Glen Stanosz, an award winning teacher and a Wisconsin native, is Professor of Tree and Forest Health at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research group studies the biology and management of tree diseases caused by fungi. 

Fungi are diverse and highly evolved organisms that are critical to the function of forest ecosystems. Their varied lifestyles are suited to roles as symbiotic mutualists, nature’s recyclers, or disease-causing tree pathogens. Professor Stanosz will discuss how fungi profoundly influence the initiation, development, composition, stability, and change of forests.

Mar 9, 2020

Waupaca Public Library

Why is Critical THinking so Critical?

Rev. Dr. Thomas Aldworth, author, pastor, instructor in philosophy at Moraine Valley Community College, counselor and pastoral theologian,  will present “Why is Critical Thinking So Critical? Dr Aldworth will explore why critical thinking is such a vital skill for everyone. This presentation will explore important psychological and physiological dimensions of decision-making. Critical thinking is the ability to find a proper balance in life instead of falling prey to one’s often-misguided “gut instincts” and the many other ways we get hijacked by our stronger emotions. Certain cognitive biases will be touched upon, such the Dunning-Kruger effect where people who know little about something assume a much greater knowledge that they actually possess. What gets in the way of good thinking will be explored along with a few guidelines for making decisions reflective of who we really are.

Mar 23, 2020

Waupaca Public Library

Wisconsin English

Joe Salmons, professor and a founder of the Wisconsin Englishes Project at UW-Madison, will explore the kinds of English spoken in our state, including pronunciation, words and word forms, and grammar. He will look at how key features of Wisconsin English have developed over time – and how remarkably recent they are – and how they are changing and becoming more distinct today. Our group is just developing a new set of maps about English in Wisconsin and we’ll walk through what they can tell us about language in the state.  [At this point, we have huge amounts of information and can customize the presentation around things that people are particularly interested in. So, please send along any questions about language and dialect ahead of time. And we always look forward to lots of Q&A.]

Mar 30, 2020

Waupaca Public Library

Earth Day: A Journalist's Reflections after 50 years

Bill Berry a journalist and writer has covered the environment most of his life. His 2014 book, "Banning DDT, How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way," was named the top nature book of 2014 by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. He writes a regular column for Madison's Capital Times newspaper frequently on environmental topics.

Barry will review the 50 years after the first Earth Day in 1970. He has covered environmental issues for most of those 50 years and will look at how the awareness generated in 1970 has continued to impact key environmental decisions at the state and national level. Examples will include issues of local, state and national importance, such as how the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act affected Wisconsin's natural resources and the public's understanding of environmental issues. Berry uses colorful anecdotes and stories gathered from five decades to add a human dimension to his work on the "environmental beat."

apr 13, 2020

Waupaca Public Library

The Chemistry of Paint Drying: It's more Fascinating than it sounds!

Allison Fleshman, PhD is a tenured physical chemist at Lawrence. Paintings embody human expression, but they also encompass quite a bit of chemistry! From the optical properties of varnish, to the pigments that produce vivid colors, Fleishman will take you on a chemical adventure into the captivating world of oil paintings. She has spent several years watching paint dry, and will assure you, it is quite a fascinating endeavor!

Apr 20, 2020

Waupaca Public Library

Changing Story of Poverty & Homelessness in our Community

Lori Prahl, Mission of Hope Ambassador, will speak on homelessness in our Waupaca community. Prahl founded the Mission of Hope House - the first homeless shelter in Waupaca County. She will include statistics on poverty and homelessness in Waupaca County as well as information about Mission of Hope House and other community resources available for the homeless in Waupaca. Prahl has information about how citizens can help end poverty and homelessness.



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