Nearly 80 guests traveled to the elegant Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club overlooking Florida’s scenic Tampa Bay waterfront, and upon arrival, attendees either hit the links at the exclusive Renaissance Vinoy Golf Club or traveled to the Salvador Dali Museum for an afternoon of Spanish surrealism. The Knolls of Oxford sponsored the annual Welcome Reception, and Miami’s own Greg Van Kirk ’91—co-founder of the New Development Solutions Group and Miami’s Center for MicroConsignment—delivered the keynote address at the Opening Dinner Friday night.
Van Kirk spoke about the importance of entrepreneurship, thus setting the backdrop for the weekend’s “Classes without Quizzes” course offerings. Led by members of Miami’s esteemed faculty, Winter College attendees were treated to different perspectives on a variety of topics from foreign policy to Facebook, and each course offering approached these topics from an entrepreneurial angle.
Of course, Winter College wasn’t all work and no play.
In addition to Friday’s excursions to open the weekend, attendees were also afforded the opportunity to check out the Chihuly Collection, a glass art exhibit presented by the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg. And in addition to Friday’s Welcome Reception and dinner, guests had the chance to mingle with fellow alumni, friends, faculty and staff during Saturday’s reception and dinner. In recognition of Miami’s Year of the Arts celebration, Dr. Jim Lentini—dean of the School of Fine Arts—gave a special presentation during Saturday’s dinner, and he then joined wife Dana, an accomplished vocalist, for a musical performance.
To close out Winter College 2012, President David Hodge and University Ambassador Valerie Hodge hosted a graduation ceremony complete with diplomas for all attendees during Breakfast on Sunday morning.
Award-winning Winter College will return to Florida next year, but a little farther south. The 10th anniversary of Winter College will be held at the Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa in Ft. Myers, Fla., March 1-3, 2013.