News And Events

News And Events

Reflections of Africa

On January 29, 2019 Africa comes to Pinehurst.  Known as the dark continent, this program will enlighten our community to the people, the art, the animals and the excitement within this fascinating and intriguing continent. You will learn what animals make up the "Big 5".  Have a greater understanding of the Maasai Mara and the Maasai people.  

You will learn about the initiatives in Tanzania in support of women's empowerment, the growing interest in preservation on the wilderness and the changing lives and living conditions as a result of worldwide efforts, from both government and individual initiatives.

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Life in the White House --- ( they did not burn the house down )

Another packed house enjoyed President Madison and his wife Dolly discuss Washington D.C. in the early 1800's.    They did not "burn the house down" … it was the British.  Dolly confirmed .. she did save the red velvet drapes but the portrait of George Washington was the higher priority.

The audience was both entertained and educated.   The challenge of working to satisfy two parties with vary different views was managed by Mrs. Madison thru her social skills.   The opening of the White House for social occasions that was inclusive of all – politicians, merchants, farmers – all were welcome and all came.  Known as the weekly squeeze it helped define our country.

President Madison, whose great skill with the written word, penned positions from both parties.  This work helped him maintain the communications open and led to his effective guidance of our country through difficult times.  

Mr. Bryan Austin who played President Madison and Ms. Anna Deitel who played Dolly Madison are members of the Historic Life repertory company.   They brought the past to life for a wonderful evening.

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English Speaking Union Student of the Month Program 


Alison Richard from Union Pines High School

Each month Sandhills Branch selects a Student of the Month based on their outstanding academic record, extracurricular activities, leadership, and community involvement and they in turn select a teacher who has most influenced them.

Alison Richard from Union Pines High School is the English Speaking Unions Student of the Month. In the top 4% of her class she is a president of the Thespian Society branch, as well as active in track and field. She has been involved outside the school in multiple programs to help others…the shoebox program for orphans, helping the needy during the holiday season, to name a few.

Alison recognized Ms. Judy Osborne, her Theater teacher as mentor, motivator and confidant during her recognition speech. The ESU congratulates both Ms Richard as well as Ms. Osborne for the high standards they have reached along with their leadership of others.

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English Speaking Union announces it’s 2018 – 2019 Program

Come fly with us!!  Yesterday, today and tomorrow – this should be the theme of the English Speaking Union's 2018-2019 Season.   The E-SU is an organization dedicated to education, scholarship, and understanding.   This season reaches back into the early 1800's with James and Dolly Madison, the we move forward with renown writers who will cover national as well as the local literature of today.  We'll move to the arts with music, then finish looking into the future with a presentation about NASA and the Hubble replacement.   Learning from the past will create a better tomorrow.  The programs this year will educate and challenge the thinking of everyone.

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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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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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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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