Photos: Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day

February 21, 2023

By Office of Marketing

A grid of images of the Rollins community participating in Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day.
Photo by Zach Stovall.

The Rollins community celebrated the third annual Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day on February 17. Explore a few of the highlights from one of the Rollins community’s newest favorite traditions.

In his 1983 convocation speech, Rollins’ 12th president, Thaddeus Seymour ’82HAL ’90H, presented the student body with a challenge: Engage in acts of kindness and service toward one another, the campus, and the community. He didn’t know it then, but that simple provocation was the beginning of a lasting legacy that would evolve into a yearly tradition.

Highly esteemed for their commitment to community service, Thad and his wife, Polly, spent decades campaigning for causes like the Winter Park Library and Habitat for Humanity in addition to serving as the first couple of Rollins from 1978 to 1990. They continued to serve the College until Thad’s death in 2019. Since 2020, Rollins has honored the beloved pair by observing Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day every February with a series of events organized by the Center for Leadership & Community Engagement.

Tars came together throughout the day to show their commitment to both service and Rollins, which would have undoubtedly made Thad very proud. Here are a few of our favorite moments from the day.

Students kicking off Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day on Tars Plaza.
Photo by Zach Stovall.

The day began with dozens of faculty, staff, and students gathering on Tars Plaza to fuel up on coffee and donuts before kicking off their day of service. There were also plenty of photo opportunities to help participants spread the message to other volunteers.

A student writes a message of kindness in chalk on the sidewalk.
Photo by Zach Stovall.

Students from the Rollins chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, a nationally recognized leadership honors society, led efforts to adorn campus with colorful chalk messages of kindness.

Polly Seymour talks to a student and Peg Cornwell.
Photo by Zach Stovall.

Thad’s beloved wife and partner in kindness, Polly, is a force for change. Each year, she returns to campus on the day that bears her name to inspire future generations of community service advocates and volunteers.

A labyrinth walk in the spirits of kindness on the Rollins campus.
Photo by Zach Stovall.

Labyrinth project manager Frank Faine and Rev. Katrina Jenkins, dean of religious and spiritual life, led a moving meditation walk through the labyrinth and meditation garden on the northeast side of campus. As folks traversed the winding paver path, they were asked to focus inward on ways to spread kindness near and far.

Rollins students took part in a community fair on campus as part of Thaddeus & Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day.
Photo by Zach Stovall.

Students had the opportunity to explore volunteer and internship opportunities with an array of Rollins’ community partners, including City Year, the Mustard Seed, and the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida.

Students play games on Mills Lawn.
Photo by Zach Stovall.

Students took a break in between activities to grab a snack and share a few moments of fun in the sun together on Mills Lawn.

A student helps build a house for Habitat for Humanity.
Photo by Zach Stovall.

Habitat for Humanity was an organization near and dear to Thad’s heart. He co-founded the nonprofit’s Winter Park-Maitland branch in the late ’80s with local homebuilder and alum Hal George ’76 and served as its chairman until his death at age 91. Tars old and new picked up tools and showed off their construction skills at a site that will become a new home for a family in need.

A Legacy of Kindness and Service

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

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