ESU Syracuse Branch

A Message from the Syracuse Branch President

Established in 1948, The Syracuse Branch of the English-Speaking Union is a very active group. Our programs reflect our members who are spirited, thoughtful and concerned about intercultural and international communications. They share a genuine interest in people and community affairs. The Syracuse Branch meets the second Saturday of each month - September through May - at a private club.

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News And Events

2020 Syracuse Branch Shakespeare Winner

E-SU, Syracuse Branch's 2020 Shakespeare Competition's winner Emilee Edick stands proud at her high school Christian Brothers Academy.  She holds our Branch's Shakespeare's winner plaque where her name and that of her school are engraved and join those of others in the past who share her honor.  By tradition, the plaque will hang in CBA for the school year.

Everyone notices Emilee's mask that adds much to the story of her participation and ultimate win.  Only a few days before our March 21 scheduled Shakespeare Competition did she and sixteen other students learn that area schools were closing.  So, too, was Syracuse Stage's Archbold Theatre, our venue for both our student workshop and competition.  Baldwinsville Library offered us space, but we realized quickly that we were headed for a virtual path.

 

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July 2020

Although the coronavirus has interrupted our normal schedule, the local officers and board members are discussing ways to keep us informed and connected during this time. 

The national organization has some current interesting programs for us to enjoy while we're waiting for in-person meetings. Click on this link to see a full listing and details of the ESU Happy Hour series. 

The ESU Online Happy Hours series offers several online speakers on topics including:

  • "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know, the Bronte Sisters,"
  • "Ron Whitehead, Outlaw Poet,"
  • "Shakespeare Scandals and Scoundrels," and 
  • "Downton Abbey in the Kitchen."

Meanwhile stay healthy, and we'll all look forward to meeting again as soon as it's safe for all.

 

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May Meeting

The Syracuse chapter had to cancel our March and April meetings due to the coronavirus, but thanks to Zoom we held our annual election meeting on schedule on May 9, 2020.

Thirty-one members attended. We were happy to see each other and say hello. We then moved through the annual meeting steps to elect the leaders for next year. In honor of the Queen's birthday we all wore festive hats. Celebrations followed with toasts to ESU's Centennial, the Queen's birthday,  and the new officers and board members.

 

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Emilee Edick Tops Syracuse High School
Students Bowing to Shakespeare This Year

This year's English-Speaking Union-Syracuse Branch's 32nd Annual Shakespeare Competition exchanged Syracuse Stage's Archbold Theatre for a home video, triumphing over the corona virus and scoring another victory for William Shakespeare in the process. Winner Emilee Edick from Christian Brothers Academy presented Shakespeare's Sonnet 11 and a monologue by Phoebe from As You Like It.  Her talent won her video a trip to New York City to participate in the National English-Speaking Union's 38th competition with forty-eight other nationwide winners. 

Emma Winkler from Manlius Pebble Hill School won second place and Tyler Piper from Jordan-Elbridge, third.  Honorable mention was awarded to Joseph Norris of Skaneateles, Cael Sullivan  from Camden, and Kimberly Rivera-Cotto from C.W.Baker in Baldwinsville.

Syracuse's event is made possible by the generous support of The Richard Mather Fund and the members of ESU's Syracuse branch.  Syracuse Branch Shakespeare Committee members include Susan Jarosz and Wendy Davenport, Co-chairs, Dot Booher, Sarah Conley, Shirley Cruickshank, Norma Ferguson, Anne Kuehn, Ann Padget, JoAnn Wallace, and Barbara Weller.

Competition judges were Frank Fiumano, Robert Hupp, and Sharee Pierce.  Matthew Phillips, an English teacher from Jamesville-DeWitt, made the competition possible by volunteering to handle the video details.  Joe Pierce, Sharee's husband, came forward with Zoom enabling the judges to confer.

 

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January Meeting


ESU Member Dorothy Booher and Presenter Juliet Giglio

Juliet Aires Giglio, professor of screenwriting at SUNY Oswego, presented her documentary Only 982 which tells the story of 982 refugees sheltered in Oswego, NY, in 1944-1945.  These were the only European Holocaust refugees who were allowed entry into the United States during WWII. 


ESU members enjoying conversation before the January presentation

Among the 982 were members of Ms. Giglio's husband's family.  Using archival footage and interviews, Only 982 tells the story of cousins Rikica, David, and Ella Levi, who made their way from Yugoslavia to Italy where they joined 3,000 other refugees vying for a spot on the ship Henry Gibbons headed for safety at Fort Ontario in Oswego.  The film documents their journey and the 18 months they spent at Fort Ontario.

Ms. Giglio invites us to view the documentary:


ESU members enjoying conversation before the January presentation


ESU members enjoying conversation before the January presentation

 

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The English-Speaking Union

Syracuse 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.