ESU Atlanta Branch

President's Corner

October 24, 2023

Report on Annual Meeting held in Kansas City; and Upcoming Events:  Wrench Speaker Luncheon on November 19, and Annual Christmas Party on December 16th

Dear Members,

After being swept up in a tornado this past weekend, I found that I had landed in Kansas City, not in the land of Oz, but in the land of ESU; specifically, at the Annual ESU Meeting!  All in attendance had a whirlwind tour of the ESU constellation in the United States, Great Britain and beyond.  From this experience, I am delighted to say that I have confidence that this great organization will not only survive but is on the path to flourish and expand.  

The main event was the welcome dinner during which I was honored to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Dr. Manning Pattillo of our branch.  It was clear everyone was touched by his enormous contributions over these many years. Our Chairman, Charles Maddrey, headed up the effort to submit Dr. Pattillo for this national award.   

Don Pattillo, Board Member, and past Board President of the Atlanta Branch, as well as Diane and Randy Brannen, Chairs of the Shakespeare Competition, were in attendance.  Don was a solid and loyal contributor, and I am sure will have news to report on his own.  

During the weekend, we had many structured discussion sessions; Diane and Randy were very knowledgeable about the Shakespeare competitions.  Communication with the many schools within the complicated mazes of school districts has become a chronic problem for many of the branches, and Diane and Randy were able to share their formulas for success derived from many years of experience and solid judgment in this area.  Diane and Randy are not only Chairs of our Branch Shakespeare Competition, but are also Chairs of the Savannah Branch Competition, in addition to being Co-Presidents of the Savannah Branch.

I learned a great deal from our own members in attendance, as well as the other branch leaders, and look forward to sharing some of the good ideas I was able to glean.  I was exposed to many practical ideas regarding increasing membership, and creating productive partnerships with other organizations which I will touch on at our next meeting, November 19th at the Ansley Golf Club.   

After we landed in Kansas City this weekend, not only did we have a full weekend of productive learning and discussion, but we also had a lot of fun.  Among other things, we sampled Kansas City's best BBQ, toured the World War I Memorial, and had a fascinating tour of the Hallmark Museum.  Did you know that the founder of Hallmark, Joyce C. Hall, partnered with Winston Churchill to produce some of their greeting cards featuring Churchill's paintings?  We also heard from the Poet Laureate of Missouri, Maryfrances Wagner, who spoke about her inspiring Haiku project and conducted a book signing.  

Please consider going to next year's Annual Meeting which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio on October 18-21st, 2024.  This will be partnered with the International ESU Council Meeting, so this will be an opportunity not only to meet members in other branches domestically, but also to meet your counterparts in the ESU in other countries.   

I look forward to seeing everyone at the Ansley Golf Club on November 19th featuring Wrench Speaker, Flora Fraser.  Please RSVP for this event which is sure to be of great scholarly interest! 

Lastly, please mark your calendar for our annual Christmas party which will be held on Saturday, December 16th at Lenbrook located at 3747 Peachtree Rd., NE, Atlanta, 30319.  Please bring your friends, and come eat, drink, and be merry!  Details forthcoming including RSVP instructions.  

If anyone has any ideas or questions, please call me.  My cell phone number is (678) 923-4702. 


Susan Phillips
President, Atlanta Branch ESU

Read Full Message

News And Events

2023 Teaching and Learning Abroad Scholar

Pierson Bauer
2023 Teaching and Learning Abroad Scholar

English Speaking Union Atlanta

The Atlanta branch of the English Speaking Union (ESU) is delighted to announce that Pierson Bauer has been awarded our Teaching and Learning Abroad (TLaB) Scholarship for 2023. Pierce teaches in the English Language Arts Department at Druid Hills High School in DeKalb County. He teaches British Literature and  journalism,  and sponsors the student newspaper. Pierce plans to use this scholarship to study English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford, this summer. The scholarship, for active classroom teachers, fully funds a study abroad program and provides a travel stipend.  

Pierce shares that  "In British Literature classes at Druid Hills, the majority of my students are in their final year of school, and this course, for many, is the final literature class they will ever take. If I can impart to them my knowledge from my time studying at Oxford, that would provide a unique opportunity for my students to grow as literature scholars in their final year before graduating high school."

ESU Atlanta wishes Pierce a successful summer of study as he prepares to spend July in Oxford, and that this experience enhances his connection to his students, colleagues, and community.


Read Full Story


2023 Annual Garden Party


Read Full Story


2022 General Membership Meeting


Read Full Story


Grants Activity Report

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!"


Read Full Story


Danielle Reed Branch 2022 TLab Scholar

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.


Read Full Story


The English-Speaking Union

Atlanta Branch

Atlanta Branch Landmark Photo