News And Events

Rick Bragg’s Program - an overwhelming success!!

The 2018 - 2019 English Speaking Union Program started off with a packed house to hear Rick Bragg, noted author and Pulitzer Prize winner, captivate us with personal stories and how they influenced his writing.

Wow, he was terrific!  He blended humor with his home spun stories that captivated everyone.  His colorful story telling took us back to the his youth in rural Alabama, then brought us forward, with a smile,  to his professional life today and the values developed along the way.    We were engaged as soon as he smiled and pulled his hair back.  We felt a part of his stories, many caused us to pause and look at the working class folks we knew or were part of us.

While Bill Berger is a great host … turns out his wife Bonnie is even better.  She set the stage for what was a wonderful evening listening to Rick Bragg.  Gosh … she might have set the trend as next month we will hear from Dolly Madison, is she going to upstage her husband the president.

It is clear already we are going to have a good year .. with a lot of fun along the way.


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Garden Party – a real success

Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth I.    Still going after all these years? Decades?    The Garden Party was a big success.   The weather cooperated and the outside Terrace at CCNC helped set the right tone for this seasons English Speaking Union Program kick-off.    We were pleased to see the large turn-out of both members and guests alike.   This event has provided a wonderful springboard as we continue to grow our membership.    


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The 2018 ESU - Sandhills Branch Shakespeare Competition

On February 10th, the 2018 ESU Sandhills Shakespeare Competition was held at the Village Chapel in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Nine high school students from Pinecrest, Union Pines, North Moore and the O'Neal School competed for the opportunity to travel to New York City and compete in the 36th Annual ESU US Shakespeare event on April 23rd. Our winner this year is Jenna Burns from the O'Neal School, Our second and third place winners were John Ambrose from Union Pines High School and Olivia McCue from Pinecrest High School.

ESU Sandhills has been sponsoring this event since 2008. This year the competition involved more than 140 students Moore County high school students. Congratulations to our winner and to all those who benefited from learning about Shakespeare in preparing for the competition. 


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Middle School Debate

Six Moore County, NC middle schools competed in the 9th annual ESU Middle School Debate at the Sandhills Community College on March 6, 2018. Over 100 middle school students took part in this competition as debaters, timekeepers and alternates. Members of the Pinecrest High School, Pinehurst, NC national award winning debate team served as co-judges. The winners are decided based on speaker points, which are awarded on each team's ability to enunciate, present evidence, and refute the opposing teams arguments. For the middle school debaters, this is their Super Bowl. The Middle School Debates have been sponsored by the Sandhills Branch of the ESU for the past 9 years. Chaired by Sally Bold Frick, the competition is made possible by the participation of 20 ESU members who serve as judges each year


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English Speaking Union’s 2017 - 2018 Season

Published with permission of the The Pilot Newspaper, Southern Pines, NC

What do spaceflight, archaeology, climate change, World War I, Napoleon, the internet, and U.S. foreign policy have in common?

They will all be featured among presentations occurring this season at the Sandhills Branch of the English-Speaking Union (E-SU) dinner meetings. The E-SU is an organization dedicated to education, scholarship, and understanding.


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The English-Speaking Union

Sandhills Branch

Sandhills Branch Landmark Photo