About Us & Activities

History of the ESU

The English-Speaking Union of the United States was created to fulfill a mission.  It was formally organized in the United States in 1920 and arose from the conviction of its founder, Sir Evelyn Wrench and a group of like-minded American and British friends, that maintenance of the close personal and national ties forged during World War I was necessary for the preservation of peace. He imagined the ESU as an inclusive organization "founded in no narrow attitude of race pride, in no spirit of hostility to any people."  Its educational mission would be carried out by a host of activities allowing for personal contact between peoples at every level.

Our year of activity consists of 7 gatherings between October and April:6 Tuesday evening gatherings involving food, wine, fellowship, and a thoughtfully-recruited speaker on a topic of popular interest—history, culture, or current events in the English-speaking world

In 2023-24, we will enjoy two meeting places, both Austin landmark historic house museums

(see pictures on the PHOTO GALLERY page)

An additional meeting, often held in February and coordinated by a passionate theater educator and director with a regional reach, gives a stage and an audience to area high school students to compete in ESU's annual  Shakespeare Competition.  Each contestant recites a soliloquy and a sonnet.  A prestigious panel of judges determines winners and runners-up.  Austin ESU supports the winner and a parent for travel to New York City and competition in the national contest. 

Our Activities

National Shakespeare Competition

TLab: Travel and Learn Abroad

The English-Speaking Union

Austin Branch

Austin Branch Landmark Photo

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.