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Acts of kindness day honors Rollins president

Photo courtesy of Rollins Archives
Thaddeus and Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day honors the legacy of 12th Rollins president, Thaddeus Seymour and his wife, Polly.

Rollins will hold its second annual Thaddeus and Polly Semour Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17. The all-day event honors the legacy of the late Rollins President Thadeus Seymour and his wife, Polly. Seymour, who served as president of Rollins from 1972 to 1990, was known for his kindness and generosity.

“Thaddeus Seymour really was an incredible person,” said Meredith Hein, director of the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement (CLCE). “During and after his time as president, Thad embodied the idea of improving the community through both acts of service and everyday kindness.”

Hein said that after Seymour’s death in 2019, she and other members of the Rollins community were inspired to start a tradition that would honor his legacy. They eventually dedicated Feb. 17, Random Acts of Kindness Day, to promoting kindness and generosity in the Rollins community. 

Events for the Thaddeus and Polly Seymour Acts of Kindness Day will begin at Tars Plaza at 8:30 a.m., where student representatives from Omicron Delta Kappa will lead attendees in writing messages of kindness in chalk around campus. Free coffee and donuts will be provided. 

At 11 a.m., Reverend Katrina Jenkins, dean of Religious Life, will lead students on a walk through the labyrinth behind Knowles Memorial Chapel and discuss how they can spread kindness throughout the Rollins community and beyond. 

At noon, the Knowles Memorial Chapel bell will ring 12 times in honor of Seymour, who was Rollins’ 12th president. This will be followed by another Omicron Delta Kappa sponsored event in the Cornell Campus Center, where participants will have the opportunity to write notes expressing gratitude to their professors, students, or other members of the Rollins community. 

The next portion of the day will focus on the Seymours’ dedication to public service. From 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Dave’s Boathouse will host an assembly line for the US Hunger Project, where volunteers will help put together 10,000 healthy meals for Orlando families. Then, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., members of the community will work on a local building by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity Winter Park, which was co-founded by Seymour.

Finally, the day will conclude with the inaugural TARmer’s Market held on Mills Lawn from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The TARmer’s Market will feature booths selling healthy foods and handcrafted products produced by local vendors. There will also be a booth by the Polly Seymour New Leaf Bookstore at the Winter Park Library.

“Overall, I hope people have a wonderful time with the events we have planned,” Hein said. “I also hope that they see all of these acts of kindness and the legacy of Thad and Polly Seymour and are inspired to carry forward the spirit of kindness beyond that day and into everyday life. That is what Thad would want.”

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