Platanos William Penn Honors Program Donors Retreat
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Unearth new wisdom in wine country

The William Penn Honors Program at George Fox University invites you to a retreat weekend of Socratic discussion led by Dr. Todd Breyfogle of the Aspen Institute. We’d love for you to join us. We’ll discuss classical texts that take up subjects on the art of living well, in the spirit of Oregon wine country: the sustenance and fellowship of food, the pleasures of wine, the leisure and labor of existence. We’ll establish new connections and exchange ideas – for life, work and charity.

Events will occur in the heart of Oregon’s Chehalem Valley, a place the natives knew as the valley of flowers, and where today’s residents daily encounter the bounty of creation – from wild forest mushrooms and abundant hazelnuts, to surging salmon runs and world-class pinot noir. You will stay at The Allison Inn & Spa, Oregon’s premier wine-country resort. We’ll make all the practical arrangements for your visit (excluding air and car travel) to ensure a relaxing, restorative weekend.

In advance of your arrival, you will read an assigned set of classic texts in preparation for lively discussion. Readings will include selections from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Luther and more. Once here, your only job will be to enjoy the conversation and camaraderie of other inquisitive and influential followers of Christ.

Please join us!

Allison Inn & Spa

The upcoming Platanos event scheduled for July 2017 has been postponed. Please contact Joseph Clair,, if you have any questions.

The weekend in brief

Retreat from the demands of everyday life in the company of other distinguished guests. Explore classical ideas, forge new relationships, and enjoy the beauty of Oregon wine country.

Here is an example of a past schedule.

July 20
5:15-6 p.m. Reception and Introductions
6-7:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30-8:45 p.m. Opening Discussion
Anton Chekhov, Gooseberries
July 21
7:30-8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-10:15 a.m. Session I: Human Nature
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (selection)
Mencius, Human Nature
10:15-10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Session II: Narratives of Power
George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant
Chimamanda Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story
12:15-1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:30-4 p.m. Leisure Time
4-5 p.m. Walking Tour of Ayres Vineyard
5-6:30 p.m. Session III: The Spiritual Resources of Leadership
Joseph Pieper, Work, Spare Time, and Leisure
George Fox, Journal (selections)
Martin Luther, On Music
6:30-7:15 p.m. Reception at Ayres Vineyard
7:15-9:15 p.m. Dinner at Ayres Vineyard
July 22
7:30-8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-10:15 a.m. Session IV: Leading and Learning
Thomas Aquinas, A Letter on the Method of Study
Mahatma Gandhi, On Education
Simone Weil, Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies
10:15-10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Session V: The Arcs of Justice
Pope Francis, On the Crisis of Communal Commitment
Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter From Birmingham Jail
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:45-3 p.m. Leisure Time
3-6 p.m. Session VI: The Crucible of Leadership
Friedrich Dürrenmatt, The Visit
6:30-7:15 p.m. Reception
7:15 p.m. Dinner
July 23
8-9 a.m. Breakfast
9-10 a.m. Morning Prayer