News And Events

News And Events

Two opportunities to be of service to Seattle ESU

Ed Atwood had done an outstanding job as the Webmaster for the Seattle Branch, working diligently with National Headquarters to keep our branch website updated and properly functioning. Under his stewardship the Seattle site has been recognized by National as one of the best in the United States. Ed now needs to focus his energies
in other directions, so the Branch needs a new volunteer to coordinate with National on the maintenance of the site. All that is needed is a basic understanding of website function and utilization, and a willingness to work with National to keep the site updated. Please contact Ed for details,

Fred Kleinschmidt and Loveday Conquest have coordinated our semi-annual auctions at the Holiday Ball, Summer Garden Party, and occasionally at the Annual General Meeting for decades. Members have generously donated items and events over the years in contribution to our fundraising efforts, which Fred and Loveday have housed and sorted for the optimal mix at the most appropriate occasion. It's now time for them to pass that responsibility along to other members. This activity is very important to the Branch, not only for the funds directly raised, but also for the tax savings in making every major event a demonstrable fundraiser! Please contact Fred for details,

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You Are Invited.

Our branch sponsors a yearly Shakespeare Contest for the area high schools. On Sunday, March 3, it will be held at the Frye Museum at 14 pm. The Frye is a great place to stop for lunch and check out the old favorites as well as the new exhibits.

The students are wonderful to watch. They are enthusiastic about the Bard and it shows in their presentations. Come and bring a guest or two to have an enjoyable afternoon. The event is FREE?!

Susan Wilson is the event Chairperson and she is helped by a group of dedicated members. They can always use additional committee members. See you there!

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ESU member, Masonic Brother, and longtime friend Donald Stewart McKenzie died at home in Queen Anne in the loving company of his bride of nearly 30 years, Elizabeth Buzzell McKenzie, and close friends and caregivers, Ardi and Fred Lipton, Don had been on hospice, and had subsequently suffered a recent stroke, so his passing was not unexpected.

He was an ardent Scot and ballroom dancer, and regretted not being able to attend this year's Christmas Ball, He and Elizabeth enjoyed years of far-ranging travels from Scotland to the Holy Land, and consistently made the most of what life had to offer them. While we will miss him greatly, he is finally at rest.

At this time Elizabeth would welcome cards of condolence, but no telephone calls or visits please. She is still recovering from her own recent injuries. Thank you for your considerate response to her situation.

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ESU Seattle Branch Nominating Committee...

The Nominating Committee is currently meeting and welcomes your suggestions for board members and/or officers. As is usual, we request your suggestions in writing with some background information. Be sure you have discussed the nomination with the person you have nominated!

The best board members are those who have been active in branch committees or other ESU activities. We are always interested in hearing from members who are interested in serving on the board this year or in the future. Please address your suggestions to Alan Waggoner, Chairperson.

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The Last Word...

January is the time for New Year resolutions. Most often we resolve to lose 5 pounds, eat healthy, exercise or watch our budget. This year I suggest a new goal.

For those of you who belong to AARP, you received a newsletter telling all of us that November was NATIONAL FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH. I really intended to write this column a bit earlier to coincide with the event but with all the space taken over for ESU events this is the first month I could spare a space for my thoughts.

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President's Corner...too

Seattle branch member Heidi Renz has pledged an annual, on-going gift of $100 to our Scholarship Fund each December in honor of Loveday Conquest for her valuable work as liaison with the English Department at the University of Washington in awarding our annual scholarships. Additionally, she has pledged an annual gift of $50 each February to the Shakespeare Fund in honor of Eleanor Monroe for her enthusiasm and commitment to the program over many years.

I would like to personally thank Heidi for these commitments; they are a reminder that scheduled pledges, whether monthly or annually, can be extremely valuable to our annual budget planning. I also would like to encourage as many of you as possible to build on Heidi's initiative in supporting our branch activities. ~Bill Maschmeier

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New Speaker's Committee Questionnaire...

Member opinion would be greatly appreciated as we set goals for this new committee:

  •  We plan to have two speakers a year, one in June and the other in October. These events would incorporate our monthly reception with food and program;
  • Time of day would be similar to receptions, 5-7 or 6-8 to take advantage of daylight savings time;
  • Epiphany Church's Hall is the preferred venue at this time;
  • Suggested topics so far are as follows: Theater, History, Architecture and The Arts, Language, Current Events, Literature, Garden, Music, Travel, Poetry, Wine and Genealogy.

Kindly send your thought on this initial framework to Sandra Boyd, Chairperson at

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December Auction

As we prepare for a larger silent auction with more space available, we ask you to consider donating some of your Christmas decorations that you are no longer using but might be a "treasure" to someone else.

Remember, all monies raised by the auction support ESU scholarships. Make arrangements with Fred Kleinschmidt to deliver your gently used decorations. Or if you are on the Eastside, contact Sandra Boyd who will be happy to accept them.

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Our President Needs Your Address and Phone Updates—Now!

Please send any address, phone or email changes immediately to Bill Maschmeier so that the next Membership Directory will be up to date. This is quite a task so let's make it as easy as possible for Bill. We all enjoy having a current roster.

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The Shakespeare Committee...

would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to the committee for all of the hard work they put in this year.

This year's winners were:
First place: Phoebe Wall, The Overlake School
Second place: Jessica Zarkos, Skyline High School
Third place: Sophie Kelly-Hedrick, Mercer Island High School

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The English-Speaking Union

Seattle Branch

Seattle 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.