Winter Park Institute (WPI) makes its home at Osceola Lodge, 231 North Interlachen Avenue, a few blocks north of the Rollins campus. The Charles Hosmer Morse and Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundations graciously offered the historic house and the adjacent Knowles Cottage for the Institute’s use as a study center for its scholars-in-residence. The house dates from the 1880s; in 1904, it became Mr. Morse’s permanent residence and remained so until his death in 1921. Jeannette Genius, his granddaughter, later resided there for a time with her husband, Hugh F. McKean, Rollins’ 10th president. Approximately 12 original paintings by both McKeans grace the walls of the Lodge and some furniture belonging to the couple has also been restored to the home.
Many believe Hugh McKean would be pleased by the building’s new function. Thaddeus Seymour, Rollins president emeritus and professor of English, affirms that “Hugh was very proud of the numerous distinguished figures who came to Rollins and Winter Park over the years. As an undergraduate, faculty member, and then president, he was introduced to the great thinkers and leaders of the world. He carried on Hamilton Holt’s tradition of The Animated Magazine. He introduced me to the booklet by Cora Harris, The Town that Became a University, and I remember one day in the 1980s, standing with him in front of Osceola Lodge, when he thought out loud about a facility for distinguished visitors to our community. ‘This would be a wonderful home for visiting scholars,’ he mused. How happy and proud he would be to see the Winter Park Institute.”
To learn more about WPI, visit www.rollins.edu/wpi/