The English-Speaking Union
 
 

News And Events

A Message from our Chairman

Dear friends,

For more than a century now, the ESU's success and staying power have been grounded in all of us – members, program participants, friends and supporters – having a strong interest and voice in the future of our Union. That's why as Chairman I've taken it upon myself to keep in touch with you regularly to bring important news and find out what's on your mind. After all, if the English-Speaking Union is all about communication and free exchange of ideas, should we not talk to each other more?

As Chairman, I promise to keep you abreast of what is happening at the ESU, through letters such as this one. I do hope that you, too, will freely share your thoughts with me.

Taking up a theme from our most recent Annual General Conference when we celebrated the individuals who have shaped our organization, I will start with the announcement that H.E. Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill CBE was unanimously appointed Chairman Emeritus of the ESU by the ESU Board of Directors during its most recent meeting on January 20, 2022. Dr. Beresford-Hill is one of the extraordinary leaders who have left an indelible mark on the ESU. He has served the organization and the ESU Board of Directors with distinction and excellence and his contributions have touched every aspect of our organization. 

A visionary, philanthropist, and a man of action, Dr. Beresford-Hill counts among his accomplishments the establishment of the ESU National Shakespeare Competition, arguably the most beloved of all ESU educational programs; the expansion of the ESU's international reach through closer ties with our counterparts across the world; and his success in refocusing the organization on its original purpose and culture. 

By appointing Dr. Beresford-Hill Chairman Emeritus, the ESU Board of Directors gratefully recognizes his many years of outstanding service and commitment to the advancement of the ESU's mission. We are indebted to Paul for his impressive legacy and we hope that he will continue to play an active role in our Union.

I also have the distinct pleasure of announcing the 2022 Luard Morse Scholarship recipient: Mr. Shang Andrews of Potomac Falls, VA, is a student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. Under the ESU Luard Morse Scholarship, Mr. Andrews has been awarded up to $25,000 to study for a semester at the British university of his choice.

In 1969, the English-Speaking Union Board of Directors created the merit-based Luard Scholarship with a bequest from the Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund, to enable a student from a historically black college or university to spend their junior year at a British university. The ESU Board's decision to establish a scholarship for black college students came after consultations with education and civil rights experts and was a remarkably forward-thinking step in the 1960s. The Luard Scholarship, renamed the Luard Morse Scholarship in 2012 to recognize one of the program's most distinguished and generous alumni, Dr. Laurence C. Morse, is perhaps the oldest program of its kind in the U.S. and has served as a springboard to success for the best and brightest of American undergraduate students.

With the pandemic's retreat and gradual reopening of borders, the program is again sending scholars abroad. After a six-month delay, the 2021-2022 Luard Morse Scholar, Mr. George Pratt, a sophomore at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, just took his residency at the University of Manchester, where he will continue his studies in religion and history. Mr. Shang Andrews, the 2022-2023 Scholar, plans to complete his scholarship semester in the spring of 2023.

We all wish George and Shang a wonderful time in the U.K. and success in all their future endeavors.

The pandemic put on hold another popular ESU program – the Evelyn Wrench Speaker Series. I'm sure that you will be delighted to hear that the lectures will resume in March 2022 with Sir Christopher Hum as the first guest speaker. Having spent some 18 years of his diplomatic career working in or on China, including as former U.K. Ambassador there, Sir Christopher has in-depth knowledge of Chinese affairs. We are delighted at the opportunity to welcome him to our Branches for an insightful discussion on contemporary geopolitics and the relationship between China and the world at large.

I'm also pleased to share with you the 2021-2022 Multicultural Cookbook, compiled by the ESU Immigrant Programs staff. On its pages, ESU immigrant students, volunteers, teachers, members and staff share cherished recipes and the memories and traditions they represent. I'm pleased that it also includes a no-fail fish recipe that Michael and I have served to our book club. It has always been highly appreciated.

The cookbook started as a way to make our immigrant students more connected to one another in the absence of the traditional ESU Thanksgiving dinner. In its second year, it is becoming a tradition on its own and I'm sure you'll agree with me that it reflects the joy, vibrancy and diversity that our immigrant program brings to the ESU. 

And finally, we've been in touch with the Buckingham Palace following HRH The Princess Royal's decision to postpone her appearance at the ESU's January 12 Gala. The Palace has assured us that the ESU will get priority in rescheduling the engagement, given all the work that has already been put into it. We are looking at a date in early fall to makes sure that the pandemic is firmly in retreat on both sides of the Atlantic. I will be sharing the news about the new date as soon as we hear from Her Royal Highness.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all of you for your continued participation in and support for the English-Speaking Union. And if there is anything you'd like to share with me – a question or a comment, an idea, criticism or praise – please write to me directly at qpeeper@esuus.org.
I'd love to hear from you.
With best regards,

  

     

   

Dr. E. Quinn Peeper
Chairman
The English-Speaking Union of the United States

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Announcing Luard Morse Scholarship recipient Mr. Shang Andrews II

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is pleased to announce Mr. Shang Andrews II has been selected as the 2022 Luard Morse Scholarship recipient. Mr. Andrews of Potomac Falls, VA is a student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Under the Luard Morse Scholarship, Mr. Andrews has been awarded up to $25,000 to study for a semester in the British University of his choice.

"Unwavering in its support of academic excellence and to international understanding, The English-Speaking Union of the United States is excited and proud to announce its Luard Morse Scholarship recipient.  This year's Luard Morse Scholar, Shang Andrews II, a sophomore Computer Engineering major from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, represents the best and brightest of American undergraduate students. The ESU is honored to support his educational endeavors studying in the United Kingdom. The entire Luard Morse community of Scholars joins me in welcoming Shang into our ranks and wishing him a safe and extraordinary study-abroad experience," stated Darrell W. Hill, chair of the ESU Luard Morse Scholarship Committee.

During his scholarship period, Mr. Andrews intends to continue his study of Computer Science in the United Kingdom. Given Mr. Andrews's strong academic and leadership track record, we are confident that Mr. Andrews will excel during his semester abroad.

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New Years Message from the Chairman of the ESU

To the entire English-Speaking Union Community,

I write today to wish you a happy and healthy New Year and every success in 2022.

I would have liked to deliver this message in-person, at the long-anticipated Gala in the presence of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, scheduled for January 12, 2022, at the Cosmopolitan Club. Regrettably, the resurgent Omicron variant forced our hand to postpone the event.

Her Royal Highness' willingness to reschedule her visit in order to be with us in the near future is an affirmation of the role the ESU has played for over a century in advancing international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language. It is a recognition of the ESU's contributions to society and the people who have given of themselves to make our organization strong and influential.

Despite our hopes, 2021 was neither normal nor easy. But it turned into a year of recovery and adaptation, as the challenges of the persistent pandemic inspired a series of innovations that enabled the English-Speaking Union not only to continue but expand its programs and impact.

From our online Happy Hour events and English classes to the virtual National Shakespeare Competition and Annual General Conference, the ESU's embrace of the new digital tools expanded access to our programs and allowed us to reach more members and students across the country. This is the silver lining to the Covid cloud. And as we gradually bring back in-person programs, we will continue our online offerings as they have already attracted a strong following.

2021 saw another notable change. At the end of his six-year term, H.E. Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill CBE stepped down from his position as Chairman of the English-Speaking Union. As the new Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, I would like to thank my fellow Members of the Board of Directors for entrusting me with this responsibility and I pledge to do my utmost as Chairman to warrant this trust.

I also thank Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill for his steady and wise leadership over the past six years. His legacy is a stronger ESU with a renewed focus on the fundamental strengths of our organization – our mission, our members and our programs. I'm personally indebted to Paul – his work has made my task easier.

And so to the future.

Over the next years, we will continue to build on the strengths of our organization. 

We will be laser-focused on supporting our Branches and the programs that engage and inspire our members, such as the Evelyn Wrench Speaker Series and the ESU National Shakespeare Competition. Even though we had superb online National Wrench Speakers like Sir Charles Spencer, we are working to relaunch the series in-person as soon as possible.

And, coming soon, is the ESU National Shakespeare Writing Program. Inspired by similar writing competitions in a couple of our Branches, this year-round programming will keep the excitement of the National Shakespeare Competition going. Consisting of both competitive and non-competitive events for middle and high schoolers, it will engage students who express their love of Shakespeare and the English language through writing rather than performance.

I see our immigrant programs – the 45-year-old English in Action and the comprehensive Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) – as another path to the hearts and minds of our members, current and future, by engaging them in volunteerism and cultural exchange. In a small pilot program, we have brought the English in Action Across America program to additional Branches using a virtual format, with the potential of expanding it in-person to more locations nationally. Just as in the New York area, the volunteer members have found great reward and enjoyment in their weekly conversations with English learners from all over the world.

And next year, 2023, we will be marking the tenth anniversary of the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center, a milestone to be celebrated. Throughout the year, a series of programs and events will recognize the legacy of Dr. Andrew Romay and the impact of the Center on thousands of new immigrants who have been empowered with the skills, language fluency, resources and networks to build successful lives in the U.S. and truly embrace their adoptive country.

One area on which, I believe, we should focus more is our international programs. With the retreat of the Covid pandemic, we will be expanding them to more teachers, students and members:
  • the Secondary School Exchange that sends students across the Pond to study at a reciprocal school before starting college; 
  • the Luard Morse Scholarships for students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to spend a semester at a British university of their choice; 
  • the Teachers Learning Abroad scholarships (TLAB) for U.S. teachers to continue to grow professionally by attending courses at the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, Shakespeare's Globe, and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
The loyalty and generosity of the thousands of our alumni speak to the impact of these programs. They have truly changed lives and as Chairman I pledge that they will continue to do so in the future.

What I also aspire to is more interactions with our international counterparts – the English-Speaking Unions across the globe. 

In early 2020 on the generous invitation of the ESU Loire Valley in France, we were preparing for a gala and concert in Paris to mark the ESU's Centennial. Our plans were foiled by the pandemic, but I look forward to resuming the preparation of this and other such travels, such as specialized patron travel programs. 

Difficult as this year has been, there is much to be grateful for. But most of all, I am grateful for your loyalty and enthusiasm and I finish by thanking all of you, our members, volunteers, teachers, students and your families. The English-Speaking Union has succeeded as a result of your talents, time and generosity. 

I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2022!

  

     

   

Dr. E. Quinn Peeper
Chairman
The English-Speaking Union of the United States

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Announcing the 2022 ESU Gala

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the increase in COVID Cases and HRH's concern for the health of the attendees the Gala is being postponed

Program and Event Details

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Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday 14th November 2021

Karen Karpowich, Executive Director, and Duncan Karcher, National Board President of the ESU were in attendance at the Queen Elizabeth II Garden to commemorate and honor our fallen heroes. Also participating were representatives of the British Societies along with numerous UN Military Advisors and members of the Anglo-American Community in New York City.

At 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month when the armistice was signed in 1918 to end WW1, there were 2 minutes of silence, followed by a musical presentation by the Allied Forces Foundation led by Pipe Major Terence McGovern. Nicholas P. Howard CEO of QEII Garden welcomed the group and introduced Emma Wade-Smith, OBE HM Consul General to New York, HM Trade Commissioner for North America.

In addition to the traditional laying of the wreath readings and other tributes including a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner and God Save the Queen by Patricia Summers Edwards.

The poem In Flanders Field was read by the Consul General:


In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row


Poppies were distributed and worn by all.

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