A Symbiotic Relationship

October 14, 2010

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In reality, Rollins has helped to transform Central Florida in many ways—impacting the region academically, culturally and economically. And, the synergy between the College and its hometown is palpable.

“Rollins and Winter Park are intellectually and culturally like-minded,” said Ken Bradley, the city’s mayor. “We operate on the same wavelength, because we have grown up and matured together. We’re fortunate to have such an exceptional college in our midst—one that was designed to interact with the world around it.”

Evidence of that resonates throughout the community. The Winter Park Institute, for example, was launched by Rollins in 2008 to promote the exchange of intellectual dialogue among scholars, Rollins faculty and students, and local residents. It has attracted some of the brightest and most creative minds in the world.

“We want to stimulate thought for the betterment of both the College and the community,” said Gail Sinclair, executive director of the Winter Park Institute. “Our programs are free of charge and open to everyone. We offer intellectual engagement for all.”

In promoting arts and culture, Rollins has always been an enthusiastic community partner—helping to support groups like Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. When the death of its founder, Isabelle Sprague-Smith, in 1950 put the future of the organization in doubt, former Rollins President Hamilton Holt asked faculty member and friend John Tiedtke to take on the leadership of the event. Tiedtke’s passion for the organization, its music and the arts community in Central Florida kept it going for the next 50 years. Today, Rollins continues to serve as home to the nation’s third-oldest Bach Festival Society, which also holds the distinction as Central Florida’s oldest operating performing arts organization.

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