News And Events

News And Events

2015 Annual Meeting

Sue Stokley, Ruth Beckley and Basil Carpenter

The Lakewood Country Club was host to the Annual Meeting of the Denver Branch of the English Speaking Union on Sunday, July 26.  It was a lovely day for a brunch overlooking the golf course and a perfect time for members to reconnect, share good food and drink and celebrate the previous year's Branch accomplishments. 

Following a brief reception, Kennedy Walters, winner of the 2014 Dr. Howard F. Beckley Writing Competition, treated members to reading of an original work.  Following brunch, the meeting was called to order by president, Bruce Haefner.  In addition to a President's report by Bruce, reports were given by Treasurer, Chuck Thompson and Committee Chairs, Michael Thornton, Susan Stokley and Cindy Poinsett.  Polly Cox, on behalf of the Nominating Committee, presented the nominees for the vacant Board positions.  Nominees included Aimee Arens, Everett Engstrom, Bruce Haefner, Karen Kellogg-Fain, Mary McLean, Bonnie Pritchett and Tim Reyes.  All nominees were approved by the membership. 

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Sara Doerner : Semi-Finalist at ESU National Shakespeare Competition

New York City, April 27th, 2015 – With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Sarah Doerner from Denver, CO, a student of Shawn Hann at Denver School of the Arts in Denver, placed as a semi-finalist in the 32nd annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The Competition was held on April 27th at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City for 57 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Sarah had previously won the ESU Denver Branch regional competition.

This year's winner of the English-Speaking Union Hawaii Branch competition, Sarah Spalding, won first prize in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition, winning a full Scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art's Young Actors Summer School in London, England. Second place winner, Evelyn Johnson, representing the Philadelphia Branch, won a scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp. Third place winner, Elizabeth Mears, representing the Boston Branch of the ESU, won $500 from The Shakespeare Society.

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Queen's Birthday Celebration

The Denver Branch of the English-Speaking Union
Cordially Invites you to the Birthday Celebration of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Sunday, June 7, 2015, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Beacons Creative Community Space in Cherry Creek North, 2630 East 3rd Avenue (between Clayton and Columbine)
Limited street parking is available for free on Sunday.  There are also several parking garages in the

Cherry Creek North District

Afternoon tea will be served with champagne toasts to

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, and
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The cost is $32.00.  Advance reservation with payment is required.

Contact the ESU Denver Branch for more information by phone at 303-755-1752 or by email at  Reservation deadline is May 29.  See you there!

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Elizabeth I: The Changing Face of Portraiture in Tudor England

Presented by Kathleen Stuart, Curator of the Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum

The English-Speaking Union, Denver Branch hosted a March social event in St. John's Cathedral's stately Dagwell Hall. ESU Members and guests enjoyed refreshments and mingled during a reception time before guest speaker, Kathleen Stuart, was welcomed to the microphone by ESU Denver President, Bruce Haefner.   Kathleen, Curator of the Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum, presented a slide show talk on the subject of the changing face of portraiture in Tudor England with a focus on the portraits of Elizabeth I.  Kathleen familiarized guests with the process of patterning that was used to produce versions and copies of Tudor portraits.  Kate explored the varied images of Elizabeth I and explained the control the monarchs had in insuring acceptable images of themselves were produced.  Kate explained that the use of infrared reflectography has made it is possible to examine the preparatory underdrawing beneath the paint layers and discover the commonality of existing portraits. Many of the pictures from the Berger Collection are currently on tour but be certain to plan a trip to the DAM to view this collection upon their return.   


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Page Scholar Visit

Ceci, Basil Carpenter & Bonnie Pritchett Saint Andrew
               Society of Colorado Burns Supper

For six fabulous days, the Denver Branch hosted Page Scholar Cecilia Hunter, a teacher from Argentina visiting several ESU Branches. Ceci teaches Mathematics in Primary School and ESL to adults in a suburb of Buenos Aires.  She visited Math classes at Denver Center for International Studies at Fairmont (thank you Vanessa Acevedo!) and Stanley British Primary School (thank you Margaret Duke!), as well as Spanish classes at East High School (thank you Mary Connelly!).  We entertained Ceci at a Robert Burns Supper, a Super Bowl party, and a wine and cheese social for new ESU Denver Branch members.  Thank you to Basil Carpenter for driving Ceci around Denver; to Polly Cox for hosting the social and taking Ceci to church on Sunday; and to Mary Connelly and David Wurtzebach, for opening their home to Ceci for five nights.  Her stops after Denver include the Nashville, Richmond and Lexington Branches.  We send our best wishes with Ceci as she shares teaching experiences in more schools and charms more cities with her sparkling personality!

For more pictures of Ceci's trip to Denver, please click here.  

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2014 Writing Competition

On Sunday, December 7, 2014, five area high school students were recognized for outstanding achievement, by the Denver Branch of the English-Speaking Union, as part of the Fifth Annual, Dr. Howard Beckley Writing Competition.  During the Holiday Tea, held at the Denver Woman's Press Club, guests were treated to readings of the five award-winning entries after which, winning students received certificates and cash prizes.  The 2014 recipients were: First Place, Kennedy Walters, Denver East High School; Second Place, Katherine Pitchford, Bear Creek High School; Third Place, Brandon Arnold, Denver East High School, Honorable Mention, Thomas Vogenthaler, Denver East High School; Honorable Mention, Pacific Obadiah, Denver East High School.

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The British University Summer Scholarship Presentation Dinner

By the close of the British University Summer School (BUSS) presentation by Cindy Poinsett and Tim Reyes, it was clear that the recipients of the 2014 Denver Branch Scholarships are intent on "paying it forward."  Both Cindy and Tim found new ways to motivate and excite students through the use of innovative teaching and classroom strategies learned in their three weeks of study at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.  In August, 2014, the Denver area teachers joined twenty-two other school teachers from across the US as participants in the Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance Program.   At the annual BUSS Dinner on November 6, Denver ESU guests were treated to a slide show presentation of the teachers' unique experiences.  Following a cocktail reception and dinner at the University Club, ESU Denver President, Bruce Haefner, introduced the BUSS teachers by reading excerpts from their scholarship applications.  The teachers' enthusiasm was evident as they spoke about their trip and the impact it had on them and, in turn, on their students.  Since 1957, more than 2,000 American high school and middle school teachers have continued their own education through the BUSS program.  We are fortunate to offer the annual BUSS scholarship to teachers in our region. 

BUSS recipients Cindy Poinsett and Tim Reyes

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A Welcome from the Denver Branch President

Welcome to the home page of the Denver Branch of the English-Speaking Union!  Maybe you are here for the first time, visiting a web address given to you by a friend or colleague or following a link from another website.  Perhaps you are a member, returning to see what we have done in the recent past and what we are planning for the future.  Whatever brought you here, I am glad you arrived!

The English-Speaking Union is a non-profit, non-political educational organization whose mission is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and goodwill.  We sponsor competitions and scholarships for students and educators; and we offer lectures, cultural programs, social events and travel opportunities for our members. The Denver Branch is one of 68 located throughout the United States and is part of a network of ESUs in over 50 countries around the world. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about who we are and what we do.

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The English-Speaking Union

Denver Branch

Denver 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.