ESU Central Florida Branch
Welcome greeting from Barbara W. Hughes, President...
Welcome to the home page of the Central Florida Branch of the English- Speaking Union. Many times, I have been asked, "What is the English- Speaking Union and what is its purpose?" The English- Speaking Union is a non-profit, non-political educational organization with the mission to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.
The organization was launched in England in 1918 on the initiative of journalist Evelyn Wrench and sixteen friends with the aim of promoting closer ties between English speaking peoples from around the world. In 1920 the ESU won the support of President Woodrow Wilson, and in 1921 the English-Speaking Union was formed with William Howard Taft as its first President. Presently there are sixty-five branches within the United States and branches in more than fifty countries around the world.
Read Full Message
News And Events
Save the Date for Shakespeare!
We are pleased to announce a change in venue for the 2020 ESU Shakespeare Competition scheduled to be held on Monday, February 24. The event still begins promptly at 4:00P.M., with a check-in for competitors by 3:30P.M. However, we will not be meeting at The University Club.
Please join us instead at:
Address: 812 E Rollins Street, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 447-1700
Our competitors will be able to take the stage in the Goldman Theater. Then, as the judges deliberate, please join us in the Patrons' Room for refreshments. This year we have 20 schools representing Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties, with several schools making their debut in the competition this year. Please join us for what promises to be a wonderful presentation of Shakespeare's beloved monologues and sonnets, and discover who will represent our branch at the National Shakespeare Competition in April. In addition to our traditional $1,000.00 First Place prize, and an all-expenses paid trip to perform at the Lincoln Center, Orlando Shakes has generously added to the bounty. Our First Place winner will also be the recipient of a scholarship to join The Young Company during the summer of 2020 (valued at an additional $250.00). Mark your calendars now, noting the change of venue, so that you won't miss out on this wonderful exhibition of talent!
Read Full Story
Veterans Day and War Writing
The ESU Veterans Day Program offered nostalgia, history, poetry analysis, and...sentence diagramming. It was a feat to fit these varied elements into 60 minutes of excellence; yet, this feat was flawlessly accomplished by Matthew Forsythe, Assistant Professor at Rollins College and recipient of the Walter E. Barden Distinguished Teacher Award.
Forsythe opened and closed his lecture with a cherished photograph, a momento which displayed his own daughter surrounded by her Veteran grandfathers. After reeling in the audience with the sheer sentimentality of the scene, Forsythe went about carefully connecting the dots between a time when poetry and war writing idealized battles to the period of time when it served the purpose of enlightening readers and expanding our "collective memories." He offered that especially in matters of conflict, "the challenge of the artist is to close the gap" between the unblemished civilian and the demolished soldier who knows too much. He presented the truth that in war our soldiers live through the realities of a "private life that belongs to the public."
Read Full Story
The Fall ESU Dinner
Combine ESU members with delicious appetizers, libations, and food courses; then provide the scene with an accompaniment of showtunes, and the product is guaranteed to be an evening full of delights.
From Left: Elaine Laegeler, Ginger Bryant, Shirley Daiger, Carole Hinshaw, Elenita Brodie
From Left: Barbara Hughes and Brett Carrier
Read Full Story
2019 Central Florida ESU Opening Branch Meeting
Professor Maurice O'Sullivan
On September 16th, the ESU Central Florida branch held its opening meeting of the 2019-20 year. Professor Maurice O'Sullivan, Kenneth Curry Professor of English at Rollins College, proved that the fascination with Frankenstein is "still alive" as his lecture held a packed audience of ESU members, collegiate students, and academic teachers entranced. From his commentary on the rebellious nature of young Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, to her divine creation of Frankenstein, and its current evolution into a trope used primarily to delegitimize science, Frankenfears were uncovered.
By the end of the program, Shelley's profound impact on matters farther reaching than literature was realized, and there was even time for a special guest appearance!
Read Full Story