The English-Speaking Union

News And Events

ESU Happy Hour: Churchill: Mobilizing the English Language and Sending It Into Battle with Allen Packwood

Churchill: Mobilizing the English Language and Sending It Into Battle with Allen Packwood

Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 4 PM (ET)

Hosted by the ESU Happy Hour Committee

Allen Packwood will draw on the voluminous Churchill archives to show how Churchill used words to fight and refight the Second World War.

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About Allen Packwood

Allen Packwood BA, MPhil (Cantab), is a Fellow of Churchill College at the University of Cambridge, the Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He was awarded an OBE for services to archives and scholarship in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honors. His book, How Churchill Waged War, was published by Pen & Sword in 2018 and he has recently edited the Cambridge Companion to Winston Churchill. The Churchill Archives Centre is located on the grounds of Churchill College and is home to the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, Baroness Thatcher, Sir John Major, and almost seven hundred of their contemporaries: politicians, diplomats, civil servants, military leaders, and scientists of the modern era. It is still collecting. Allen likes to joke that it is the equivalent of four American presidential libraries! He is responsible for the overall management of the team and collections.

Signature Drink

Cocktail – Churchill disliked cocktails and generally did not mix his drinks. However, there are internet rumors that his Brooklyn-born mother, Jennie Jerome, may have invented the Manhattan, so people can bring their own variants of this trusted favorite.

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About the ESU Happy Hour Series

ESU Happy Hour Programs are free online presentations on a variety of topics that connect our members and guests. Interested in attending an upcoming Happy Hour program? You can view the full schedule with upcoming speaker(s) at the link below. Miss a program and want to watch it on demand? Click the button below for recordings of previous sessions.

Full Schedule Previously Recorded Programs 

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ESU Happy Hour: The London of Sherlock Holmes by Dr. Annamaria Dall'Anese

The London of Sherlock Holmes by Dr. Annamaria Dall'Anese

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 4 PM (ET)

Hosted by the ESU Central Pennsylvania Branch

Sherlock Holmes knows everything about you: he sees your shoes and knows where you come from; he shakes your hand and he knows what job you do; he looks at the wrinkle in your brow and he knows what you are thinking. But how much do you know about Sherlock Holmes? During this virtual tour of Sherlock Holmes' London, you'll answer quiz questions to collect clues to identify a mysterious London location. And, on the way, you will learn a lot about Sherlock and his creator.

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About Dr. Annamaria Dall'Anese

Annamaria Dall'Anese has lived in over a dozen countries over four continents, and her job is to show you why she thinks that London is the best city in the world! As a Blue-badge tourist guide qualified in French, Spanish, and Italian, as well as English, she can show you both the most iconic attractions and the hidden gems of the British capital.Having delivered over 1000 tours for people from all walks of life, Annamaria has the skills to look after independent travelers, families, corporate clients and groups of students

Having worked in the healthcare sector and having completed a PhD in medical anthropology at UCL, London's oldest university, she also enjoys working with medical doctors and healthcare professionals.

Annamaria has lived and worked in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as Vancouver, Paris, Venice, Madrid, and the Swiss Alps, and she will make you feel as comfortable in London as if you were in your own sweet home.

Signature Drink

Elementary, Watson's cocktail:

  • 85% champagne (on ice)
  • 10% campari bitter
  • 5% gin

Sprinkle a few drops of Angostura on top, add a slice of orange and ice cubes.

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About the ESU Happy Hour Series

ESU Happy Hour Programs are free online presentations on a variety of topics that connect our members and guests. Interested in attending an upcoming Happy Hour program? You can view the full schedule with upcoming speaker(s) at the link below. Miss a program and want to watch it on demand? Click the button below for recordings of previous sessions.

Full Schedule Previously Recorded Programs 

Read Full Story

Chairman's January Newsletter

A Message from Chairman Dr. Quinn Peeper

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the New 2023!

May it bring you health, joy and countless wonderful experiences! And I hope that many of them will be alongside your fellow ESU members.

But first, I am delighted to announce the addition of four new members to our National Board of Directors: esteemed microbiologist and ESU Luard Morse Scholar (1978-79) Dr. Gregory W. Buck; board-certified psychiatrist and Medical Director at the Veterans Administration Medical Center Washington DC Dr. Mary R. Lee; PwC Cloud and Digital Strategy Partner Ms. Michelle C. Seale; and EVP, General Counsel and Head of Business Affairs at Hallmark Media Mr. Jon Sichel, who were elected to the Board at the Annual General Meeting in Charleston S.C. They are starting their service with the first Directors' meeting on January 26.

I am excited about them being part of the ESU National Board and I thank them for agreeing to serve to further the ESU's mission. They join a long legacy of excellence in the ESU's leadership and each brings unique skills, experience and perspectives to help our organization thrive. Join me in wishing them a successful and rewarding service!

In 2023 we will celebrate a big milestone – the ESU National Shakespeare Competition's 40th birthday. In this letter I would like to tell you about how we plan to mark this major occasion and invite you to join us in the festivities.

This year, for the first time since the pandemic, the ESU National Shakespeare Competition returns to New York with in-person national finals on Monday, April 24, 2023, at Lincoln Center. It will bring all semi-finalists together for an exciting weekend from Saturday, April 22, to Tuesday, April 25, encompassing the Bard's birthday.

Parents, teachers, Branch coordinators and leadership, as well as regular members, are invited to join the students in many of the activities and programs during this Competition weekend such as meals, a Broadway show, New York City tour, etc. We are offering a special Parents Package that includes complimentary access to selected group activities and some Parent/Chaperone-only events.

A cocktail reception on April 24, 2023, after the Competition, will gather program alumni and friends – participants, their families and teachers, current and former judges, etc. as well as, hopefully, a few celebrities from the theater world.

You are all invited to join. Please mark your calendars – a formal invitation with all the details will follow soon.

Besides making the 2023 ESU National Shakespeare Competition finals extra special, we are offering another unique opportunity to celebrate the ESU's National Shakespeare Competition's 40th birthday - a transatlantic crossing aboard RMS Queen Mary 2 and a one-of-a-kind tour in and around London, July 7-17, 2023.

Under the theme of The Bard's Queens on Board, the voyage will offer the perfect mix of intellectual stimulation, elegant travel and sheer fun in the company of old and new friends.

A group of twenty travelers will set sail from New York on July 7 aboard RMS Queen Mary 2 for a week at sea. During the crossing, Shakespeare expert and author Dr. Catherine Loomis, who will travel with us, will amuse and challenge us with engaging daytime lectures and evening conversations about all things Shakespeare seen through the prism of the women in his life and art.

On shore, we will delight in behind-the-scenes access to unique places and people made possible by the ESU's network of connections built over a century. The Bard's Queen's theme will continue with visits to Hever Castle, ancestral home to Anne Boleyn; Knole at Sevenoaks, home to young Mary Tudor, later Mary I; and Hatfield House, Queen Elizabeth I's favorite residence. At Knole and Hatfield House, we will be greeted by the owners who will share family stories that go back centuries and show us private rooms not generally open to the public.

On the program are also a performance at Shakespeare's Globe and visits to the National Portrait Gallery and the British Library where we will see the First Folio. Did you know that 2023 marks the First Folio's 400 birthday?

For the grand finale, we will celebrate the ESU National Shakespeare Competition's anniversary at Dartmouth House, home of our sister organization, the English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth. We will tour this historic house, raise a toast in the Courtyard, and enjoy a sumptuous dinner in the Drawing Room, entertained by youth from the summer's Shakespeare competition, a newly launched program by Dartmouth House, inspired by our own Competition.

This voyage will be the first of our re-imagined exclusive tours to destinations and experiences connected to the ESU's history, programs and cultural traditions. In years past, the ESU had such a program. Some of my fondest memories – and strongest friendships – were forged during these ESU adventures. When I became Chairman, I vowed to bring these bespoke tours back, as a way to engage and thrill our most loyal supporters, celebrate our achievements and raise funds for the ESU's programs and activities.

The Bard's Queens on Board voyage will do all these things, magnificently. This will be a one-of-a-kind, "bucket-list" adventure. It is special because it will mark the ESU National Shakespeare Competition's 40th anniversary – on the heels of the ESU's Centennial. You can find details about the itinerary and how to sign up on the tour's website page.

Dear friends, we want 2023 to be a year that celebrates our resilience in the face of adversity and the return to normalcy when we again get together with friends and raise a toast to life and happiness. The ESU National Shakespeare Competition's 40th anniversary is a perfect occasion to do that. Come to the finals in New York City on April 24, and if it is on your wish list, join us for the Bard's Queens on Board tour. It will be an experience of a lifetime.

With best regards,

Dr. E. Quinn Peeper
The English-Speaking Union

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Michayla George wins $25,000 in Scholarship to Study in England as the 2023-2024 ESU Luard Morse Scholar

New York City: Ms. Michayla George, a Business Major at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, has been selected as the recipient of an English-Speaking Union Luard Morse Scholarship. Karen Karpowich, Executive Director of the English-Speaking Union, announced the winner, noting that she will receive $25,000 toward a semester of study at any university of her choosing in the United Kingdom during the 2023-2024 academic year.

The English-Speaking Union Luard Morse Scholarship Committee is truly excited to announce Michayla George as the next Scholar. Michayla, a sophomore at Tennessee State University, represents the highest caliber of student-scholars our nation has to offer. The ESU is honored to support her educational efforts as she expands her horizons with this study-abroad opportunity. The Scholarship Committee and the ESU Luard Morse Alumni community joins me in wishing Michayla, and all the finalists and applicants, the very best." stated Darrell W. Hill, chair of the ESU Luard Morse Scholarship Committee.

Michayla intends to continue her study of Business Administration in the United Kingdom. Given her strong academic and leadership track record, we are confident that Michayla will excel during her semester abroad.

Ellison Richardson  Lanise Myers   Lorenzo Lugo

The ESU Luard Morse Scholarship Finalists included three other exceptional, sophomore students studying at HBCUs from across the United States: Ellison Richardson, a Political Science Major at Howard University, Lanise Myers, a Kinesiology Major at North Carolina A & T and Lorenzo Lugo, a Business Major at Morehouse College.  For the first time since Covid, the ESU was happy to welcome the ESU Luard Morse Scholarship Finalists back to interview at ESU National Headquarters in New York City. 

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Happy Hour: Port Wines with Dr. Phil Williams

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at 5 PM (EDT)
Port Wines with Dr. Phil Williams

Take a journey with Dr. Phil Williams, President of the ESU Charlottesville Branch, and share a life-long fascination with Port wines, the nectar of the gods, and some of the grand stories which make it taste all the more wonderful. Whether one prefers White, Ruby, Tawny, Late Bottle Vintage, or Vintage Port, the history, politics, and traditions of Port are the stuff of legend.

"Be sometimes to your country true
Have once the public good in view
Bravely despise Champagne at Court
And choose to dine at home with Port." - Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 

Dr. Henry P. (Phil) Williams III is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He also teaches in the International Relations department of Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey. He has received Degrees and Diplomas from Culver Military Academy, the Universities of Virginia, Edinburgh, and Florence, and a PhD in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He has worked on the Mediterranean for more than ten years of his life, including stints in Turkey doing Doctoral Research, Investment Banking, and university-level teaching. He also worked in Corporate Finance on Wall St. for many years. He has published scholarly articles on Ottoman and Turkish Law as well as his recent book, Turkey and America, East & West – Where the Twain Meet. He has authored many news articles on Turkey and spoken widely on Turkey's domestic and international affairs for many years.

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