Built in 1925 by Egbert L. Davis, the house is located at 2599 Reynolda Road on six acres at Polo and Reynolda roads and originally named Sunnynoll Farm. The Davis Family’s affinity with Wake Forest University spans from Mr. Davis’s undergraduate years ending in 1904 at what was then Wake Forest College, located in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Mr. Davis was instrumental in the 1956 move of Wake Forest College from Wake Forest, NC to Winston-Salem, NC. He was the first chairman of the North Carolina Baptist Hospital Trustees and was chairman of the Wake Forest Trustees. Sunnynoll continued as a working farm well into the 1960’s. Following Mr. Davis’s death in 1974, the family restored the exterior of the house, and in 1988 they donated the property to Wake Forest University. The University restored the interior of the residence. Today, the historic Sunnynoll residence features a spacious entrance hall with the original hand-painted wallpaper mural, a conference room, offices for the Eudaimonia Institute faculty and staff, and a library for faculty, staff, and students.
The purpose of the Eudaimonia Institute (EI) is to explore the elements of and institutions that support eudaimonia, or genuine human flourishing. We are a community of scholars dedicated to developing an interdisciplinary understanding of what eudaimonia is, what the institutions are that support it, and what its chief obstacles are, all in the hopes of enabling more people to achieve eudaimonia.
The mission of the EI is to investigate the nature of eudaimonia, or genuine human flourishing, and the political, economic, social, and cultural institutions that encourage and discourage it.
We are interested in the exploration of both the theory of what eudaimonia is as well as its practical implications. We seek to understand what kinds of lives are truly worth living, as well as what policies, practices, and conventions should be encouraged to help people to lead such lives. We investigate eudaimonia not only at the level of individuals but also at the levels of organizations, communities, and societies. We expect that our research will help shape social reform and the national conversation, but we will not limit or confine our investigations by any prior concerns for their policy implications. Finally, the curricular and pedagogical implications of our research are also important to us: What does our research say about how we should frame liberal arts and professional education?
The parameters of our investigations are indicated by the following criteria: to partner with and support research that faculty at Wake Forest University either are already conducting or could be encouraged to undertake; to bring in visitors and support faculty members who can have homes in departmental units of WFU and also have an affiliation with the EI that will enable them to conduct research that furthers the missions of both their departments and the EI; and to situate our research within Wake Forest University’s Pro Humanitate educational vision.
In light of these parameters, here are some of the lines of research the EI is committed to exploring: