33 Students Inducted into Cum Laude Society
by The Milton Measure on Friday, June 6th, 2014
After swarms of parents, students, and faculty settled into Wigglesworth Hall last Tuesday evening, May 27th, Mr. Bland, Ms. Bonenfant, and Mr. Ball inducted one member of Class II and 32 members of Class I into the Milton Academy Chapter of Cum Laude. The National Cum Laude Society was created in 1906, designed as a secondary school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa, a collegiate honor society, with the purpose of “promoting excellence, justice, and honor” in academics.
In 1922, Milton Academy joined the Cum Laude Society, which now consists of 382 schools from countries all over the world like the U.S.A, Philippines, Canada, England, France, and Spain. Between all these chapters, around 4,000 new members are inducted every year.
As members of Class I moved onto senior projects and largely disappeared from classrooms on campus, the later part of the school year has been largely filled with ceremonies recognizing the many facets of students’ skills, which range from athletics to writing. The Cum Laude Society reception is a way to “recognize students’ excellence across many areas,” summarized Mr. Ball. Furthermore, he explained, “students spend a lot of time on academic work and acknowledging that effort, at a school like Milton, where kids work incredibly hard, is appropriate.”
The National Cum Laude Society limits admittance to the top 20% of a graduating class. Since no specific GPA is required, entrance to the Cum Laude Society is based solely on one’s performance in relation to his or her peers. Milton Academy chooses recipients by reviewing students’ grades from sophomore through senior year. While the National Cum Laude Society generally reserves the award and recognition for seniors, it allows for a small number of juniors to be selected. Mr. Ball said that chosen juniors consist of “one or two stellar students who have particularly outstanding academic careers already.” This year’s inducted junior was Shirley Lu (II).
When questioned on her reaction to receiving such a prestigious award, Rosamond Carr (I) said, “[becoming a Cum Laude recipient] was an honor and I’m proud of my classmates and myself. This experience was unexpected; I did not think I would be in an honor society. [This goal] was never on my mind.”
Corey Schwaitzberg (I) took a slightly different view on the topic, saying, “I don’t feel like I have been given superpowers – I was pleasantly surprised.” He added, “Sometimes I questioned why I ranked academics so high [in my list of priorities], and now it’s nice to know people appreciated my work.”
Following the handing out of certificates, Ms. Flewelling, this year’s faculty speaker, spoke about the “seven to nine forms” intelligence can take. Reiterating the Cum Laude ideals of excellence, justice, and honor, she encouraged the honored students to extend their thinking “beyond simply academics and learning” and to “look forward and back.” Ms. Flewelling highlighted both how two key forms of intelligence, intra and interpersonal, are key to success and that intelligence can appear in a variety of settings but must always be applied in reference to the goals of excellence, justice, and honor.
After the speech, those present at the ceremony reconvened in the bottom of Cox Library for the unveiling of the 2014 Cum Laude plaque. Mr. Bland, with a pleased smile on his face, removed a small tarp revealing the golden plaque beneath, signifying the continuation of academic excellence at Milton Academy.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=6123