ESU Charlottesville Branch

Message from the President

Dear Members and Prospective members,

Unless you are a new member who joined the ESU since April 1st of the year, members are kindly asked to rejoin beginning July 1st, the ESU's fiscal new year. The dues remain the same, $52/Single, $75/Couple. The fees are a small price to pay to support local and National philanthropies which are aimed at leveraging the ESU mission, both here and around the world. The ESU "Expands minds, Strengthens friendships, Unlocks opportunities – through the use of the English language." Where our youth is concerned, 

"The English-Speaking Union believes every child should be able to make their voice heard. We believe that the ability to progress and to thrive in life relies on oracy – speaking and listening – skills, which are not currently a prominent part of the school curriculum. Our debate, public speaking and cultural exchange programs help young people to engage with the world, to speak more confidently and to listen to and understand different points of view. These skills improve young people's attainment, emotional intelligence and social skills, helping them to live their lives to the fullest."

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News And Events

ESU Christmas Party 2022

ESU Christmas Party. 2022. Photo Reportage

"A Dickens of a Christmas"

Dear Members,

On a beautiful December afternoon, ESU members and their guests were invited to an historic venue, the ante-bellum Glenmore House, as the guests of members Ginna and Richard Kelly. Clearly, they had pulled out all the stops in readying their home with extensive Christmas decorations, outside and in, festive and welcoming. Their gracious hospitality was on display at every turn in what proved to be a memorable event for the members.

Faster than St. Nick can get down the chimney, members seem to get right into the spirits, I mean, spirit of the holiday, chatting up a storm. Ginna's niece, once or twice removed, Hanna in green is standing in front of her "signature" Christmas cake. Almost too pretty to eat – almost. One look at Jon below with his Christmas hat one – a veritable study in good cheer – says it. Richard's private tour of the "Dickens Library" was a standing room only interlude for a host of members. And Mr. Pickwick proved to be an irresistible back drop for photos.


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In Her Own Words: Roxanna Beebe-Center, ESU Shakespeare Competition Runner Up

In Her Own Words: Roxanna Beebe-Center, ESU Shakespeare Competition Runner Up

"In addition to free attendance at every one of the festival's shows, from Sound of Music to King Lear, the actors led us in workshops on all manner of principles. One day, we studied the basics of stage combat; the next, we used reference dictionaries to dissect the subtleties of text. The teachers had all the wisdom of seasoned professionals and the vigor of artists in love with their work.

"Throughout the whole week, our two lead instructors provided us with cut monologues, audition resources, and college information.

"...As I stood with my fellow actors onstage, beneath the parching Utah sun and the
cluster of ravens in the rafters, I was grateful for the privilege of pursuing this art form."

Roxanna Beebe-Center
Charlottesville High School, ESU Shakespeare Competition Runner Up


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2022 ESU Gala

The Charlottesville Branch Gala had it all.

It began with a champagne reception with a series of pictures of Queen Elizabeth, from birth to her passing, scrolling on a large screen. President Williams' opening remarks included a solemn tribute to perhaps the greatest monarch in history. Moving testimonials were read from the national runner up for the Shakespeare competition, as well as from the winner of the TLAB Scholarship. In connection with this scholarship, President Williams announced a $100,000.00  gift from Judith and Robert Smith to support this Program. Perennial Branch Angel, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel was thanked for her $3,000.00 unrestricted gift to the branch. Charles III and President Biden were both toasted. A blessing was offered, the National Anthem sung, followed by President Williams' now annual humorous grammar lesson. Dinner was served and followed by an extraordinary presentation by Professor Mark Metcalf centered on China – a clear and present danger to Western Civilization. Our guests were beautifully turned out. It was an exciting, educational, and memorable opening for this year programs.

Thank you branch photographer Skye O'Donnell for this wonderful collection of pictures which captured the pleasure members took in coming together for the fall Kick-Off event.


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ESU Charlottesville 202-2021 Program

Please click here to download the program


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ESU Charlottesville 2020-2021 Program

Click here to Download the New Program


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The English-Speaking Union

Charlottesville 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.