Hamilton Holt School Receives Grant from Winter Park Health Foundation

The $139,779 grant will support the Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning.

The Hamilton Holt School at Rollins College has received a $139,779 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) to provide start-up funds for the Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning. The Center will offer innovative liberal arts programming for adults 50 and older from Winter Park, Maitland, Eatonville, and the surrounding communities beginning in the fall. The noncredit courses will last four to six weeks and will feature current and emeritus faculty from Rollins. Annual memberships will be $200 and will include participation in an unlimited number of noncredit courses offered through the Center. Scholarships and fee reductions for those in need will be offered.

An earlier planning grant from WPHF provided funding for SalterMitchell to conduct research to determine interest in such a program. This research resulted in the identification of educational topics with particular appeal to older adults, an affordable fee structure, and many specifics about the desired learning environment (small class size, accessible facility, convenient parking, daytime offerings, and opportunities for active learning and socialization with other older adult students). This input made the Hamilton Holt School at Rollins the most logical home for the Center given its rich history of educating nontraditional students.

A full-time director will be assisted by an active 11-member Community Advisory Council, a part-time administrative assistant, and volunteers. Rollins will assume 77 percent of the start-up costs for this endeavor through the provision of in-kind services and funding of operational expenses.

According to Diana Silvey, program director for the WPHF, “The grant to Hamilton Holt School will provide an excellent opportunity for Winter Park and other area adults 50 and older to participate in extraordinary liberal arts courses offered by the Hamilton Holt School at the Rollins College campus. We believe this collaboration with Rollins will be very beneficial in meeting the educational needs and interests of older adults in the communities we serve.”

Hamilton Holt School Dean David Richard said, “We are delighted to be working with the Winter Park Health Foundation on this important project. Today’s older adult learner is an active and vibrant part of our community and deserves the best educational opportunities available. This grant allows us to welcome an entirely new cohort of students to the Rollins liberal arts experience.”