News And Events

News And Events

ESU Seattle Branch Nominating Committee...

The Nominating Committee is currently meeting and welcomes your suggestions for board members and/or officers. As is usual, we request your suggestions in writing with some background information. Be sure you have discussed the nomination with the person you have nominated!

The best board members are those who have been active in branch committees or other ESU activities. We are always interested in hearing from members who are interested in serving on the board this year or in the future. Please address your suggestions to Alan Waggoner, Chairperson.

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The Last Word...

January is the time for New Year resolutions. Most often we resolve to lose 5 pounds, eat healthy, exercise or watch our budget. This year I suggest a new goal.

For those of you who belong to AARP, you received a newsletter telling all of us that November was NATIONAL FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH. I really intended to write this column a bit earlier to coincide with the event but with all the space taken over for ESU events this is the first month I could spare a space for my thoughts.

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President's Corner...too

Seattle branch member Heidi Renz has pledged an annual, on-going gift of $100 to our Scholarship Fund each December in honor of Loveday Conquest for her valuable work as liaison with the English Department at the University of Washington in awarding our annual scholarships. Additionally, she has pledged an annual gift of $50 each February to the Shakespeare Fund in honor of Eleanor Monroe for her enthusiasm and commitment to the program over many years.

I would like to personally thank Heidi for these commitments; they are a reminder that scheduled pledges, whether monthly or annually, can be extremely valuable to our annual budget planning. I also would like to encourage as many of you as possible to build on Heidi's initiative in supporting our branch activities. ~Bill Maschmeier

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New Speaker's Committee Questionnaire...

Member opinion would be greatly appreciated as we set goals for this new committee:

  •  We plan to have two speakers a year, one in June and the other in October. These events would incorporate our monthly reception with food and program;
  • Time of day would be similar to receptions, 5-7 or 6-8 to take advantage of daylight savings time;
  • Epiphany Church's Hall is the preferred venue at this time;
  • Suggested topics so far are as follows: Theater, History, Architecture and The Arts, Language, Current Events, Literature, Garden, Music, Travel, Poetry, Wine and Genealogy.

Kindly send your thought on this initial framework to Sandra Boyd, Chairperson at

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December Auction

As we prepare for a larger silent auction with more space available, we ask you to consider donating some of your Christmas decorations that you are no longer using but might be a "treasure" to someone else.

Remember, all monies raised by the auction support ESU scholarships. Make arrangements with Fred Kleinschmidt to deliver your gently used decorations. Or if you are on the Eastside, contact Sandra Boyd who will be happy to accept them.

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Our President Needs Your Address and Phone Updates—Now!

Please send any address, phone or email changes immediately to Bill Maschmeier so that the next Membership Directory will be up to date. This is quite a task so let's make it as easy as possible for Bill. We all enjoy having a current roster.

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The Shakespeare Committee...

would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to the committee for all of the hard work they put in this year.

This year's winners were:
First place: Phoebe Wall, The Overlake School
Second place: Jessica Zarkos, Skyline High School
Third place: Sophie Kelly-Hedrick, Mercer Island High School

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Ride Share Referral Service

The January reception at Eli's proved to be a successful experiment in holding a mid-day event, and this will probably be repeated next year; the change of time during our darkest months may even be extended to November and February to accommodate those disinclined to drive at night.

Now that we have returned for this year to our evening reception schedule, the Branch would still like to encourage all members (and their guests) to attend our monthly receptions whenever possible, as these are the principal venues for getting to know each other and supporting our general operations. To that end the Board is setting up a Ride Share Referral Service, to be generously coordinated by former Board President, Jerry Rockhold. Jerry has agreed to be a point of contact for those who either need a ride to a specific reception or are willing to provide one.

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ESU Scholars Introduced at February Reception

The February reception at the Maschmeier-Haggerty penthouse included an opportunity to meet two of the 2017¬2018 UW English Department's ESU scholarship winners, Kaelie Giffel and Caitlin Postal. Kaelie and Caitlin were able to chat with many Seattle branch members, including Dr. Marina Tarlinskaya, with whom at least one of them shares scholarly interests. A happy consequence of one of these conversations is we are now aware that new member, Brian Alkire, has an interest in both Chaucer and Shakespeare. Caitlin is currently mentored by Sarah Faulkner, whose successful Jane Austen Festival was aided by a grant from the Seattle ESU. The scholarship winners look forward to attending the AGM dinner this June at the Museum of Flight. Thanks to board members Barbee Tucker-Pigott, Peter Phillips, and Alan Waggoner for underwriting their attendance at the reception. Our scholarship funds accomplish great things indeed!

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Region VIII Meeting in Seattle

Seattle welcomes Region VIII members for our annual Spring Conference, June 15—17, 2018, held in conjunction with the Seattle branch Annual General Meeting the evening of Saturday, June 16. The conference will be at the Ramada Inn, 15901 West Valley Highway, Tukwila, WA. Room rates (tentative) are $149 per night (+tax, includes breakfast and airport shuttle); be sure to ask for the ESU Conference rate.

Conference events include a hosted reception on Friday evening, meetings Saturday and Sunday (with lunch), and the Saturday banquet at the world famous Museum of Flight. All-day admission to the museum is included for conference attendees and anyone attending the banquet. Conference registration is $165; Seattle AGM on Saturday (banquet and museum admission only) is $70. Registration forms will appear in future newsletters. Contact Fred Kleinschmidt for further information at (206) 325-7237 or

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The English-Speaking Union

Seattle Branch

Seattle 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.