About Us & Activities

The English-Speaking Union (ESU) 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. Wrench 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.

Retired U.S. diplomat Robert Brand and his wife, Jo, founded our Branch in 1987.  For the past twenty-nine years the group held most of its activities in and around State College. The branch now spans from Reading to Pittsburgh.  The Central Pennsylvania Branch has become best-known for its annual Shakespeare Sonnet and Soliloquy Competition, and for its monthly educational / get-togethers.  

Our Branch founding members and educators in State College remain interested and involved in our activities and we want to honor them.  We hope to involve more schools and individuals from our expansive area.  If you are interested in serving on a committee in your area, please contact us.  We plan to offer events celebrating the beauty and history of the English Language, and move forward in bringing education, scholarship, and global understanding to everyone in our branch service area.

Our Activities

National Shakespeare Competition

TLab: Travel and Learn Abroad

The English-Speaking Union

Central Pennsylvania 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.