About Us & Activities


Harriet Tubman:American Icon

November 14, 2015

In a campaign to replace the face of Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with that of a woman, Harriet Tubman has emerged as a popular contender. Born a slave, she became one of the leading abolitionists before the Civil War and worked tirelessly on the Underground Railroad. Syracuse University, Milton C. Sernett, Professor Emeritus History and African-American Studies, presents.

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Follow Me in Merry Measure:A Musical Program of Yuletide Treasures

December 12, 2015

Join us for some holiday cheer and a live musical program of popular Christmas carols and other holiday selections by professional musicians at the beautifully decorated venue. Michael Connor,Tenor and Nancy James, Piano.

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The Heritage of The Hotel Syracuse

January 9, 2016

Marriot Downtown Syracuse, formerly known as the Hotel Syracuse, built in 1924 and closed in 2004, is currently being restored for a planned reopening in March 2016. Acquired in 2014 by Ed Riley the Pyramid Hotel Group, it will have all major historic spaces returned to their former glory.

Dennis J. Connors, Curator Onondaga Historical Association, presents

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Celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday

February 13,2016

William Shakespeare turns 400 this year and appears to be healthier than ever. The E-SU Shakespeare Competition is 30 years old and still going strong. What is the magic in this man's life and works? Matt Chiorini Director Theater Program from LeMoyne College presents.

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Tree of 40 Fruit

March 12, 2016

The result of grafting slivers of various stone fruit trees onto one main rooted tree is an explosion of flowers in the spring and fruit in the summer. When it reaches full maturity, the tree will have the capacity to grow 40 different kinds of fruit. Sam Van Aken, Sculptor and Art Professor, presents.

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Evelyn Wrench Speaker

April 9 or 16, 2016

More information to come on the Evelyn Wrench speaker; underwritten by the E-SU National Headquarters. Wrench speakers address current events or subjects of cultural or historical interest.

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Happy Birthday Your Royal Highness

May 14, 2016

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born April 21, 1926, will celebrate her 90th birthday in 2016. She acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom in 1952, beginning a reign that is second only to Queen Victoria's in length. She has faithfully kept her promise to devote her whole life to her people and country and has earned the respect and affection of her countrymen.

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Shakespeare Competition 2015

The Syracuse branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States today held its twenty-seventh annual Shakespeare Competition at Syracuse Stage's Archbold Theatre.

Each year area high school students, winners of their local school competitions, recite a monologue and sonnet with the hope of joining sixty other nationwide winners in New York City for ESU's National Competition held this year at the Lincoln Center on April 26-28.  The National winner will receive a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art's Young Actors Summer School in London.  Second and third place winners also receive awards.

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April 18, 2015 - Brunel:The Man Who Changed the World

The English mechanical and civil engineer who built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, steam ships, bridges and tunnels, Brunel revolutionized public transport and modern engineering. The Evelyn Wrench Speaker is Robert Hulse, MA Director London's Brunel Museum

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American Plants and English Gardens

November 8, 2014

Americans have long admired English gardens but have been unaware of the influence we have had on them. Lisa and Tim Ballantyne from Ballantyne Gardens Certified Nursery and Landscape Professionals will discuss native American plants, how they influenced English gardens and what that means for our gardens today.

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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.