6 Ways to Celebrate Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day

February 08, 2023

By Office of Marketing

A grid of images of students participating in Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Celebrate kindness on February 17, 2023, with a small act to make a big difference on the third annual Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day.

Rollins’ 12th president, Thaddeus Seymour ’82HAL ’90H, and his widow, Polly, are renowned for their decades of service in the local community. For the third consecutive year, the College will honor the former first couple’s legacy of kindness and philanthropy by celebrating Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, 2023.

You can carry forward the mission of citizenship and service with small actions that reflect the Seymours’ passions. Led by the Center for Leadership & Community Engagement, Rollins has organized a collection of opportunities that allow each member of the Rollins family to honor the Seymours’ legacy and serve our community through simple acts of kindness.

A student crafts a chalk-written note of kindness on the sidewalk at Rollins.
Photo by Scott Cook.

1. Create colorful messages of kindness

Thad’s favorite Robert Frost poem, “Dust of Snow,” celebrates how a brief encounter in nature can lift a mood. In this spirit, inspirational messages will grace the walkways of America’s most beautiful campus on Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day. Join members of Omicron Delta Kappa between 8:30 and 10 a.m. on Tars Plaza and contribute to the community’s outpouring of good vibes by crafting your own sidewalk chalk messages.

Students participate in a labyrinth walk of reflection.
Photo by Scott Cook.

2. Walk for peace

Marked by the bronze statue honoring Mister Rogers as well as a labyrinth and meditation garden, Rollins’ newest neighborhood is an ideal space for reflection and building community. Join Rev. Katrina Jenkins, Rollins’ dean of religious and spiritual life, for an interactive labyrinth walk from 11 a.m. to noon as you unplug from distractions and focus on how to spread kindness in the Rollins community and beyond.

Knowles Memorial Chapel and Annie Russell Theatre
Photo by Scott Cook.

3. Honor Thad just by listening

Keep your ears open at 12:12 p.m. because the bell in the Knowles Memorial Chapel will ring a dozen times in honor of Rollins’ 12th president.

Student poses with handwritten cards of appreciation.
Photo by Scott Cook.

4. Make a difference in 5 minutes

A handwritten note is one of the simplest and most effective ways to demonstrate your appreciation. Head to Tars Plaza between 12:30 and 2 p.m. to write a note expressing your gratitude for one of your professors, classmates, or staff mentors. Then craft a bookmark that will be distributed to students in local schools and to bookworms at the Winter Park Library’s Polly Seymour New Leaf Bookstore.

Student meets with a community partner on campus.
Photo by Scott Cook.

5. Learn how to get involved

On Mills Lawn from 12:30 to 2 p.m., explore volunteer and internship opportunities with an array of community partners, including organizations like the City of Winter Park Sustainability Program, Mustard Seed, and the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida.

Students help build a home with Habitat for Humanity.
Photo by Scott Cook.

6. Help build a home for a family in need

One of President Seymour’s lasting legacies stands in the numerous homes he helped build with Habitat for Humanity. He co-founded the nonprofit’s Winter Park-Maitland branch in the late ’80s with local homebuilder Hal George ’76 and served as its chairman until his death in 2019 at the age of 91. Grab a hammer in Thad’s honor and contribute to the organization’s latest project—a house not far from campus. Meet at the Rollins Museum of Art; the two-hour project starts at 2:30 p.m. Be sure to sign up in advance because space is limited.

A Legacy of Kindness and Service

Learn more about the Seymours and their impact in our community.

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