ESU Syracuse Branch

A Message from the Syracuse Branch President

Established in 1948, The Syracuse Branch of the English-Speaking Union is a very active group. Our programs reflect our members who are spirited, thoughtful and concerned about intercultural and international communications. They share a genuine interest in people and community affairs. The Syracuse Branch meets the second Saturday of each month - September through May - at a private club.

News And Events

Program of May meeting:
        "DNA Today: New Developments in Forensic Science"
by  Kevin Sweder, PhD

At our May 11, 2019 meeting, our guest speaker, Kevin Sweder,  took us on a journey into the cell to expose the components of DNA that are used as markers in Forensic Science.  We learned how these markers work in crime solving.  Even the DNA of twins bear differences that lifetime experiences and exposures mark on their DNA,  With his expertise in forensics and epigenetics, Kevin explained the details with Power Point slides to show complex concepts clearly. 

Alice Borning, who arranged for Mr. Sweder to appear, introduced him.  Kevin Sweder is recently retired from the Syracuse University Faculty where he was the Director of the Center for Bioforensics, Biosecurity, and Biometrics. He now teaches an Honors Program. Prof. Sweder's expertise in epigenetics is being applied to the development of new biochemical tools to bolster forensic efforts. He received his PhD from Caltech, worked as an Asst. Prof. At Rutgers, specialized in Genetic Toxicology at Bristol Myers Squibb, and as professor at SU, advanced to the position of Director of Forensics and National Security Sciences.


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Tully’s Tiernan Tobin Tops Syracuse High School Students Bowing to Shakespeare This Year

Tully Jr. Sr. High School winner Tiernan Tobin receiving ESU-Syracuse winner plaque from ESU-Syracuse Shakespeare Committee Co-chairs Wendy Davenport and Susan Jarosz

At March 2nd's English-Speaking Union-Syracuse Branch's 31st Shakespeare Competition at Syracuse Stage's Arthur Storch Theatre, winner Tiernan Tobin from Tully High School presented Shakespeare's Sonnet 50 and a monologue by Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet.  Her talent won her a trip to NYC's Lincoln Center to participate in the National English-Speaking Union's 36th competition with fifty other nationwide winners on April 29.  The prize this year is a summer acting experience in Oxford, England.

Faith Annan of Jamesville-DeWitt High School won second place and Skyler Bertrand from CBA, third.  Honorable mention was awarded to Emilie Pearl of Jordan-Elbridge, Emma DeGroff from Union Springs, and Lorelei Bodenbach of Cicero-North Syracuse.


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April Meeting

The April Syracuse E-SU meeting featured an explanation of the 6-wicket game of croquet, a game begun in England in the 1800's. Most of us are familiar with backyard croquet, a game played with our friends and family, but this version is played on groomed courts by white-clad participants in a game under the auspices of the United States Croquet Association.

Barbara Weller, E-SU member and a member of the Westhill Croquet League, demonstrates 6-wicket croquet. 

Speaker Larry Cranfield, the Westhill Croquet Club pro at the Westhill Golf Course in Camillus, assisted by June Schneiweiss, explained the game. He showed slides of the court, spoke about the differences between backyard and 6-wicket croquet, and gave members a chance to give the game and its equipment a try within the confines of our meeting room.


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March Luncheon Meeting

E-SU member Norma Ferguson, who invited our speaker, and TV meteorologist Wayne Mahar.

The March luncheon meeting of the Syracuse E-SU hosted TV personality Wayne Mahar, Chief Meteorologist at TV station WSTM, Channel 3. He is a well-known and recognizable figure and an expert in a field which is probably the most common topic of conversation at any gathering. After his biographical introduction, the audience participated in a lively question and answer period where Wayne responded to thoughts about climate change, TV studio structure, and his experience on The Weather Channel during this winter's windstorm. Since he is known throughout  the area, it was like having a conversation with a friend.


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Simon Moody at February Luncheon

Simon Moody, award winning actor, was featured speaker at the Syracuse Branch of the English-Speaking Union luncheon  on Saturday February 9, 2019,  Carl Borning, who arranged for Mr. Moody to speak, introduced him.  Simon Moody has graced Central New York Stages in hundreds of plays over the past 23 years.                   Simon Moody with Carl Boning
Mr. Moody spoke on the topic "Shakespeare's  Language: Then and Now." 

He compared the sound of English in Shakespeare's time to what we hear in contemporary theater and acted out several examples that showed those distinctive differences.

This meeting was also a successful fund-raiser for the Syracuse Branch's 30th              Simon Moody Reciting                annual Shakespeare 


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The English-Speaking Union

Syracuse 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.