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Debut of the 2023 season of Academia Hernando

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Academia Hernando will greet Hernando residents with a hearty “Ahoy, Mateys” when this esteemed and enjoyable adult education program marks its grand return at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 15, 2023. “Pirates of the Florida Coast,” presented by author, speaker, and living historian Robert Jacob, will open this exciting season of Academia Hernando at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill.

Academia Hernando is a not-for-profit lifelong learning organization that provides quality instruction and learning experiences for adult students throughout Hernando County and beyond. Their goal is to inform, educate, and inspire adult learners through a series of weekly lectures on a wide variety of topics.

With a lifelong passion for history, Robert Jacob has been heavily involved in living history interpretation and history reenactment for more than 40 years now. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in education from Duquesne University and a Master’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and served in the United States Marine Corps for 31 years. While researching information regarding the golden age of piracy, Jacob realized that most of the publications on the subject were contradictory and even incorrect. This motivated him to write his award-winning book, “A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy.”

In the wake of its release, his readers expressed a strong interest in the pirates that visited the coast of Florida. This inspired Jacob to write his second book that focused on these individuals, titled “Pirates of the Florida Coast: Truths, Legends, and Myths.”

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“Florida has a long and rich history of pirates plundering its shores, cities, and shipping lanes. Tales of Florida pirates abound from Key West to Pensacola and from Miami to Jacksonville. But how much of it is true?” said Jacob. “Exaggerations of true pirate histories have been told and retold for centuries, giving rise to imaginary pirate heroes and spawning sensational legends and myths. But just as there are many myths and legends, there are also many truths. Get the complete and true accounts of the real Florida pirates, from Sir Francis Drake to José Gaspar.”
Jacob lectures about a variety of historical subjects, especially pirates. He has regularly presented pirate presentations at the Tampa Bay History Center, for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and for Academia Hernando. He has also appeared on the History Channel’s series “Beyond Oak Island” as an expert on this subject.

Sharon Printz, a board member of Academia Hernando, is looking forward to welcoming back this popular repeat presenter to the Academia stage. “Robert is an excellent living historian. Education is what we do here at Academia Hernando. And when our audiences say, ‘I want to see them again,’ we listen,” said Printz.

“Pirates of the Florida Coast” is the inaugural presentation of the Fall 2023 series of Academia Hernando, which features a brilliant spectrum of topics as delivered by the experts who know them best.

Sharon Printz expressed that everyone is looking forward to the 2023 season of Academia Hernando, which will offer a rich variety of new and returning speakers.
Academia Hernando presentations begin promptly at 10 a.m. and will last two hours with a 15-minute intermission. To register for the entire lecture series in addition to a Nov. 10 mystery bus trip, print the registration form found at https://www.academiahernando.org/fall-series and mail with your check for $80 payable to Academia Hernando Inc. to:

Bev Nuzzi
15027 Middle Fairway Drive
Brooksville, FL 34609

Checks can also be brought to an Academia Hernando presentation; in addition, walk-in admissions are available for $15 per presentation. Visit https://www.academiahernando.org/ for more information or call (352) 345-8345.

“We can’t wait to present our Fall Series to the community,” said Printz.

2023 Academia Hernando schedule:
September 15: “Pirates of the Florida Coast”
Presented by Robert Jacob

September 22: “Dr. Ackley’s Family: An Emigrant’s Story”
Presented by Dr. Rodney Ackley

September 29: “Dancin’ Dames of Hollywood”
Presented by Beth Davey

October 6: “Infectious Diseases That Changed World History”
Presented by Dr. Linda Harris-Young

October 13: “Selling the United States Constitution: The Struggle for Ratification”
Presented by Dr. Ruth Kelly

October 20: “A History of Horror Films”
Presented by Rick Kistner

October 27: “Flying Tigers in WWII”
Presented by Kun Shi

November 3: “Celebrate the Holidays in Florida”
Presented by Cathy Salustri

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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