2022 General Membership Meeting
Dear Fellow Branch Members,
The Atlanta Branch is completing possibly the most challenging year in its eighty-year history, but I think we can say that we have survived and are well. The Branch is fully functional, even if via Zoom. We have accomplished much in the past year, as has ESUUS with their series of programs, and we have major plans for the new year starting July 1. Thank you for your continuing interest and support. As your new president, I will serve diligently and try to strengthen the Branch. Please keep in touch and view our website for announcements and updates. We all look forward to normal in-person activities, and we are in the process of arranging our traditional Garden Party, as well as a possible picnic at a location to be determined. We will resume monthly meetings as soon as we can clear COVID restrictions. I know this is something we all want to see, and soon. For the time being, we will try to bring you lectures and meetings by virtual video, teleconferences and other virtual measures that will keep us all close, as has always been the case. I ask you if you please have any ideas or program preferences to let me or one of our board members know.
I hope this has been helpful and encouraging, Please do not delay in renewing your membership for 2021-2022. The renewal form is attached. As always, regular annual membership dues remain unchanged at $50 for individuals and $80 for couples, but please consider upgrading to Patron status or becoming a Contributor to the Branch, both of which carry additional privileges. The additional financial support of upgraded membership is invaluable. Also, endeavor to bring in friends and acquaintances as new members. Such events as the Annual Christmas Party and the Branch entry in the National Shakespeare Competition will definitely continue. Members Randy and Diane Brannen will continue to arrange and host the multiple student performances at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern, and many members attend and share the excitement of teachers and students at this special day.
Again, it is your Branch, and your continuing membership and active support makes us what we are.
Please call me anytime, or contact any other Branch officers and board members with your ideas and suggestions.
Donald M. Pattillo, President
Atlanta Branch, English-Speaking Union
ESU Atlanta recently funded two additional $6,500 Dr. Manning Pattillo, Jr. Scholarships at Oglethorpe University Oglethorpe will award the two Scholarships later this year to two Oglethorpe students in good academic standing, who demonstrate how studying abroad will contribute to their academic, professional, and personal aspirations.
Kharynton Beggs is the most recent recipient of a Dr. Manning Pattillo, Jr., Scholarship; Kharynton recently completed her studies at the University of Oxford and returned to Atlanta earlier this year. Attached below is a news article about Kharynton. Kharynton will be invited to speak at an upcoming ESU Atlanta Membership Meeting about her studies at the University of Oxford.
At the end of 2021 ESU Atlanta made a $2000 grant to the Atlanta Shakespeare Company to help support Atlanta Shakespeare's program at the Boyce L. Ansley School. Atlanta Shakespeare's program at the Ansley School focuses on the learning and development needs of the Atlanta area's homeless young children.
ESU Atlanta is currently considering creating a scholarship at an Atlanta area HBCU to assist an HBCU student to study abroad. It is expected that more information will be available later this year about this potential scholarship.
Kharynton Beggs '23 was the 2021 recipient of the Manning Pattillo Jr. Scholarship, presented annually by the Atlanta chapter of the English Speaking Union in honor of former Oglethorpe University President Dr. Manning Pattillo.
The scholarship is awarded to an Oglethorpe student in good academic standing, who demonstrates how studying abroad will contribute their academic, professional, and personal aspirations.
Founded in 1920, the ESU is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, which utilizes English as a catalyst to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational opportunities and cultural exchange.
Beggs has been studying at the University of Oxford in England during the fall semester and will return to Oglethorpe in the spring to complete her junior year. But, she has been planning her study abroad experience for years.
"On my very first visit to Oglethorpe, my tour guide discussed all of the partner schools we had around the world – and from the very first mention of Oxford, I knew that I wanted to go," said Beggs, a psychology major from Charleston, SC, who is a member of the women's golf team and serves as an admission ambassador, peer academic advisor, and development assistant.
Utilizing Oglethorpe's extensive resources, Beggs took every opportunity to learn more about studying abroad.
"I attended information sessions held by the global education office, reached out to previous students who had studied at Oxford, and did my own research about the program and the university itself. While I decided very early on in the process that I wanted to study abroad, it was not without the support of the global education office, my advisor, and my family, that I was able to make this dream a reality."
She encourages other students to also explore studying abroad.
"Oglethorpe offers so many different options, there is a program for everyone. Additionally, there are so many resources out there to help fund your trip, and if money is the biggest concern, look into the cost of living of your desired program and look for external scholarships because there are so many out there."
"Being here in Oxford has been one of the greatest experiences, and I would recommend it to everyone. So, if this is something you really want to do, there are so many ways of getting there and Oglethorpe is extremely supportive in helping you reach your goals!"
Danielle Reed is the recipient of our Branch TLab scholarship this year and will apply for a creative writing course at either Oxford or Edinburgh to enhance the writing classes she teaches at the Galloway School in Atlanta.
She was a winner once before when she taught in Florida and studied at the Globe in London and had an amazing time. She is a mid-career teacher with many years to influence her students, colleagues and community.
This year's competition was held as usual at the Shakespeare Playhouse on Peachtree St in downtown Atlanta. There were 24 students from 14 schools. (We accept up to two students per school.)
Click here to download Shakespeare Competition Newsletter
1st Place – Arden Adams of Mount Vernon School, teacher Clark Taylor.
2nd Place – Dayan Todd of Tri-Cities High School, teacher Jade Lambert-Smith.
3rd Place – Anne Marie Alsobrook of Westminster High School, teacher Kate Morgens.
Honorable Mention – Veronica Else of DeKalb School of the Arts, teacher Candace Lambert
This is the year of the COVID pandemic, so the national competition did not take place in NYC. Instead, the wonderfully resilient staff at ESU HQ quickly arranged for students from 49 ESU Branches to submit video of their performances. These may be seen on ESU's YouTube channel: 2020 Shakespeare Competition Performances (The competitor from our Atlanta Branch is student #9.)
From these submissions, the judges picked ten finalists. On April 27 these ten students live-streamed their performances, and the resulting hour-long program may be seen here: 2020 Shakespeare Competition Finalists. The winner was Ava Blum, student of Jim Mahady, at Georgetown Day School.
Preparations for the 2021 competition are already underway. The Atlanta Shakespeare Playhouse has penciled us in on their calendar for February 21, 2021. Please put it on your calendars too!
The Speaker series is named for Evelyn Wrench, the founder of the English-Speaking Union. Speaker Elizabeth St. John spends her time between California, England, and the past. A best-selling author, historian and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Lydiard Park, and Nottingham Castle to Richmond Palace and the Tower of London. Elizabeth will be signing books at the end of the event. To reserve a space, please include payment via check to ESU at address below or go to this link to pay online.
RSVP: February 4, 2020
$35 per person/CashBar
Complimentary Valet Parking
Checks payable to ESU Atlanta Branch
Edna Berkshire - P.O. Box 1684, Cumming GA 30028