ESU Research Triangle NC Branch

Welcome Message from the Research Triangle Branch President

Dear Members and Friends:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Research Triangle Branch of the English Speaking Union, I am pleased to welcome you to another wonderful season of fellowship, fun and learning. The Board has a full and exciting schedule planned for the coming months, and we invite you to join or renew your membership for another year. Your membership dues and donations are tax deductible and go toward support of our programs, and allow us to provide support for area high-school students participation in the popular Shakespeare Competition. Take a look at our News and Events page for the schedule of activities planned for the coming year.

Kindest regards,
Robert E. Leak
Research Triangle Branch ESUUS

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News And Events

2019 Shakespeare Competition

On February 21, 2019, we were treated to an enjoyable evening with high school students from around the area competing in the annual ESU Student Shakespeare Competition, held at William Peace University, Raleigh. Fourteen students competed and gave remarkable performances of excerpts from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. This years winners were: first place, Xiao-Ming Porter; second place, Morgan Swales; third place, Riley Simutami. Research Triangle Chapter President Bob Leak presented Miss Porter with a beautiful crystal award, generously sponsored by long-time ESU supporter Alice Irby.

Click here to view more pictures from the event. 


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Cary student performs at the 35th Annual National Shakespeare Competition in New York City

Morgan Swales performing at Lincoln Center in New York City

April 26, 2018 — New York City: April 23 may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Morgan Swales from Apex High School it will be a day to remember forever. Morgan, student of Laura Levine, placed as a semifinalist at the 35th Annual National Shakespeare Competition on William Shakespeare's birthday while competing against 55 students from around the US on stage at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater in Lincoln Center as the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).

Prior to arriving in New York City for the competition, Morgan wrote:
Shakespeare has a lasting impact on the arts. So many popular titles are based off his work. It's amazing to think how one artist can change so much. It feels surreal to be representing and performing famous work at a national competition. I'm honored to be attending. I am most excited about the hustle and bustle of the city, the food and to see other students' performances.


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Region IV Annual Meeting

Event Photo

Alice Irby, Ralph and Francine Roberson at Carolina Country Club

Research Triangle Branch was pleased to host the ESU Region IV 2017 Annual Meeting in Raleigh, March 24-26. We met old friends and made new ones from the various branches in Virginia and North Carolina, and heard presentations by Christopher Broadwell, ESU Executive Director, and Dr. Julia C. Van de Water, Regional Chair.
Weekend events included: Welcome Dinner Friday night at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course Clubhouse on the Centennial Campus; Annual Meeting and Lunch Saturday morning at the Hampton Inn Crabtree; Gala Dinner Saturday evening at the Carolina Country Club featuring the always-entertaining Dr. Elliott Engel speaking on Winston Churchill; Farewell Brunch Sunday morning at the North Carolina State University Club.


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John White and the First Pictures of the New World

News Photo

Jenny Skinner presenting talk on artist John White

On February 5, 2017, at a well-attended brunch at the NCSU University Club in Raleigh, Jenny Skinner presented an entertaining and informative lecture on the travels and work of John White, an accomplished artist and governor of the Roanoke Island settlement that became the Lost Colony in North Carolina. His watercolors were the first pictures of the New World.


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Fellowship and BBQ at Milburnie Fishing Club

On November 13 at the Milburnie Fishing Club in Raleigh, members and guests enjoyed a scrumptious buffet of barbeque, oyster casserole, roast chicken, hush puppies, and loads of sides. The Milburnie Fishing Club sits on land granted around 1730 by King George to the Hinton family. The club was founded in 1913, when A. H. Byrum, E. P. Maynard, R. P. Dickson, T. C. Powell, and J. P. Timberlake each contributed $500 to buy the 65 acres neighboring Midway Plantation from Charles Lewis Hinton. It remains today the rustic retreat of Raleigh's old guard.


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The English-Speaking Union

Research Triangle NC Branch