The English-Speaking Union

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ARNIC Class of 2019 Graduation

For the newest Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) graduates, June 13 was an especially memorable occasion as they attended a graduation ceremony at the Harvard Club of New York. The ARNIC Class of 2019 was exceptionally diverse and included nearly 120 graduates from more than 40 countries.

The ceremony was a lively event that brought together the graduates, their families, program alumni, teachers, staff and members of the ESU board. Three ARNIC graduates spoke on behalf of the 2019 class: Roberto Rocael Baten Ramirez from Guatemala, Maddalena Maltese from Italy and Tuiana Mitakhniova from Russia.

Chef Fabian von Hauske Valtierra delivered the commencement address. Chef Fabian had previously been awarded the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts by the Vilcek Foundation in recognition of his outstanding achievements as an immigrant chef. Speaking directly to the 2019 graduates, Chef Fabian noted the many ups and downs of his own immigration journey. He urged graduates to stay optimistic despite the many challenges they face and noted that New York City remains a city built by and for immigrants.

After the speeches, ESU Chairman of the Board, Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill, CBE, KSt.J, dressed in full academic regalia, presented each graduate with a certificate of completion. To close the evening, everyone gathered for a reception that reflected the welcoming and inclusive spirit of the ARNIC community.

During a gala dinner following the graduation ceremony, the English-Speaking Union bestowed posthumously the ESU Founder's Award on Robert P. Morse, Founder, Executive Chairman, Principal and Senior Portfolio Manager of Morse Asset Management, for his commitment to the Anglophile community and the dialogue for peace and understanding and for his decades-long involvement in the ESU as a loyal and generous patron, member of the Board of Directors, and champion for the organization. The dinner celebrated Mr. Morse's legacy and raised funds for ARNIC and ESU's other education programs.

The English-Speaking Union Founder's Award was created in 1991 by an action of the ESU National Board to honor prominent individuals who exemplify the primary interests of the organization's founder, Sir Evelyn Wrench, namely to foster US-British relations, cultivate international understanding and good will and promote the mastery and extended use of the English language. Previous award recipients had been The Right Honorable Margaret Thatcher, OM, FRS, MP., former ESU Chairman William R. Miller CBE, KStJ, artist Edwina Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill and Dr. Paul, Beresford-Hill, CBE, KStJ, ESU benefactor Andrew Romay (posthumously) and long-term ESU President and President Emerita, the late Doe Thornburg.

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