Winter Park Institute Announces 2017–18 Season

The Rollins College speaker series opens in September with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jon Meacham and closes in April with basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The Winter Park Institute (WPI) at Rollins College, a center for intellectual engagement that brings world-renowned speakers to Central Florida, recently announced the schedule for its 10th season. Speakers include basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, astronaut Story Musgrave, presidential historian Jon Meacham, artist Candy Chang, poet Billy Collins, and activist Lauren Bush Lauren.

Each year, WPI brings preeminent scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, entertainers, writers, and world-renowned speakers to Rollins students, faculty members, and the broader community. Guests of the speaker series have won Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, Presidential Medals of Freedom, and a Nobel Peace Prize, among many other distinguished honors.

“Members of the audience leave energized and better equipped to engage with others,” says WPI Executive Director Gail Sinclair. “Raising the level of awareness about important artistic and societal issues has a profound ripple effect.”

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the Rollins College box office at 407-646-2145.

2017–18 Winter Park Institute Season

Jon Meacham

The Art of Leadership: Lessons from the American Presidency
September 12, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
Knowles Memorial Chapel

Presidential historian and biographer Jon Meacham will present a timely and enlightening discussion drawing upon his knowledge of politics, religion, and current affairs. 

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Lauren Bush Lauren

How to FEED the World, One Bag at a Time
October 10, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
Tiedtke Concert Hall

Through her business mission aimed at fighting hunger and poverty in our world, social activist Lauren Bush Lauren will expand upon her shared commitment with the Rollins mission of global citizenship.

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Billy Collins

Beyond the Birdbath: Poems from Several Time Zones
November 8, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
Bush Auditorium

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, a longtime favorite of WPI audiences, will continue to delight with readings from his thought-provoking poetry.

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Candy Chang

Before I Die: A Participatory Art Installation
January 18, 2018 | 7:30 p.m.
Tiedtke Concert Hall

In this captivating and intimate talk, world-renowned artist and urban designer Candy Chang demystifies the creative process, inspires personal reflection, and provokes new ideas for community and well-being.

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Story Musgrave

Farm Kid to Rocketman and Beyond: Personal Exploration, Excellence, and Evolution
March 6, 2018 | 7:30 p.m.
Bush Auditorium

Story Musgrave will entertain and inform through tales of his adventurous life and career—from his 30 years as a NASA astronaut to his work as a scientist, surgeon, and innovator.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Writings on the Wall: An Evening with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
April 4, 2018 | 7:30 p.m.
Warden Arena

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will share his thoughts after 50 years as an athlete, activist, and New York Times best-selling author.

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