ESU Charlottesville Branch

Message from the President

Dear Members and Prospective members,

Unless you are a new member who joined the ESU since April 1st of the year, members, and prospects, are kindly asked to rejoin/join beginning July 1st, the ESU's fiscal new year. The dues remain the same, $52/Single, $75/Couple. The fees are a small price to pay to support local and National philanthropies which are aimed at leveraging the ESU mission, both here and around the world. The ESU "Expands minds, Strengthens friendships, Unlocks opportunities – through the use of the English language." Where our youth is concerned,                                                                                                                                                          

"The English-Speaking Union believes every child should be able to make their voice heard. We believe that the ability to progress and to thrive in life relies on oracy – speaking and listening – skills, which are not currently a prominent part of the school curriculum. Our debate, public speaking and cultural exchange programs help young people to engage with the world, to speak more confidently and to listen to and understand different points of view. These skills improve young people's attainment, emotional intelligence, and social skills, helping them to live their lives to the fullest."

You all should have just received a Sign Up/Renew letter from our Chairman, Quinn Peeper, MD, together with related materials, including membership forms. You may either join/renew with those forms or with the following information:

You can join or rejoin using the Membership Tab on the Branch website:

(If you go to our website, you might want to visit the Photo Galleries of past Member events. Good fun.)

Or, mail a check made out to the English-Speaking Union and send it to: The English-Speaking Union of the United States, 144 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016.

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News And Events

ESU 2024 Garden Party Photo Reportage

One cannot have an English Garden Party with at least a spot of rain. Mercifully, that is all the day brought. Otherwise, the weather was perfect, overcast (good for pictures), neither too hot, nor too cold. Below left, the hosts with the most, "Shriner Bob" and "Miss Kentucky Derby," Cindy Ryan. To their impeccable hospitality, was added the cheerful service of President Phil, and the alluring taste of his Pimm's Cup No. 1 punch, "best this side of the Thames."

Added to the mix were the expertise of Bartender "Jimmy", and in the kitchen, Chef Propriétaire, Ashley Seig Williams – a winning team.

The Charlottesville Branch set a Garden Party attendance record, with 102 RSVPs, reflective of the dramatic growth of the organization, thanks in large measure to Cindy, focusing on the Senior circuit, and Holly on new members in their 40s.


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Ford Christmas Party legend continues...

ESU 2023 Ford Christmas Photo Reportage

The legend lives on. From the  moment one entered the festive decorated historic home, the "hostess with the mostest," Marijke and team, John and Jon, treated the guests to a fairyland Old World setting and Yuletide fê


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The ESU National Shakespeare Competition Starts Now!

News Photo

We are pleased to announce the kick-off of the ESU's National Shakespeare Competition! Schools in our region may enter now, giving students the opportunity to participate in the Charlottesville Branch Competition.  The winner of the branch competition will travel to NYC to compete in the national finals at Lincoln Center!  


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2023 ESU Gala

ESU 2023 Gala Photos – For those that attended, I thank you. For those who didn't/couldn't, it was a fun-filled evening, highlighted by an eye-opening talk by Dr. John Lenczowski (pictured on left with Branch "Angel", Lady Blanka Rosenstiel on his right) regarding the threat posed by the regime in China to Western civilization. New members were introduced. The ladies were all beautifully turned out. Grand evening.

See you all anon. President Phil


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2022 ESU Gala

The Charlottesville Branch Gala had it all.

It began with a champagne reception with a series of pictures of Queen Elizabeth, from birth to her passing, scrolling on a large screen. President Williams' opening remarks included a solemn tribute to perhaps the greatest monarch in history. Moving testimonials were read from the national runner up for the Shakespeare competition, as well as from the winner of the TLAB Scholarship. In connection with this scholarship, President Williams announced a $100,000.00  gift from Judith and Robert Smith to support this Program. Perennial Branch Angel, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel was thanked for her $3,000.00 unrestricted gift to the branch. Charles III and President Biden were both toasted. A blessing was offered, the National Anthem sung, followed by President Williams' now annual humorous grammar lesson. Dinner was served and followed by an extraordinary presentation by Professor Mark Metcalf centered on China – a clear and present danger to Western Civilization. Our guests were beautifully turned out. It was an exciting, educational, and memorable opening for this year programs.

Thank you branch photographer Skye O'Donnell for this wonderful collection of pictures which captured the pleasure members took in coming together for the fall Kick-Off event.


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The English-Speaking Union

Charlottesville Branch

Welcome to the ESU

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

To find out more about our programs click here.