Cum Laude Inducts 20 Owls

The MUS chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted 20 new members from the Classes of 2022 and 2023 during a ceremony February 25.

Seniors J.D. Clorina, Noah Emmert, Edward Grinder, Dex Jack, Vincent Ores, Talal Siddiq, Coleman Whitehead, Christopher Yarbro, and Jacob Zamore, representing the top 20% of their class, joined the society.

Juniors Jack Blackwell, Abdullah Elahi, Charlie Gamble, Frederick Huang, Andrew Jones, Varun Krishnamurthi, Jeffrey Liu, Kevin Ma, Max Mascolino, Jack Zaptin, and Lou Zhou, representing the top 10% of their class, also gained membership.
These honorees joined seniors inducted last year: Simeon Betapudi, Collin Craft, Mark Hieatt, Jordan Infeld, Evan Jones, Forest Rudd, Witt Smith, Garner Uhlhorn, and Kerry Zhao.

Membership in the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic honor students in a secondary school can receive. Modeled on Phi Beta Kappa, the society encourages scholarship under the motto, “Excellence, Justice, Honor.” The MUS chapter was chartered on December 14, 1967.

Instructor in Religion Elliot Dent spoke after an introduction from Headmaster Pete Sanders. Dent’s speech focused on a story from a Western civilization class he took his sophomore year in high school. The teacher presented a bowl to students and told them they had five minutes to write about it. Puzzled, the young Dent struggled to find anything noteworthy about the bowl, and time was up before he knew it.

At the end of the exercise, the teacher revealed to the students that there was a chip on the bowl, that there was a handwritten note inside the bowl, that there was a caution sign on the back of the bowl, and that there was a $100 bill taped to the bottom of the bowl, available to anyone who had just gotten up to investigate it closer.

The lesson? “When you’re reading about history, you’re only going to be reading from one perspective, and you might need to read it from all the perspectives,” Dent said. “For me, at the end of the day, the bowl is more than just how to approach history, but how to approach education. It was a lesson to be learned that education is more than just a means to an end.”

Sue Hightower Hyde Chair of English Lin Askew then welcomed the crowd and gave a brief background of the Cum Laude Society before Academic Dean Flip Eikner ’77 announced the new members and English Department Chair Elizabeth Crosby handed them their booklets.

Sanders, as president of the MUS chapter, charged the inductees before dismissing for a reception in the Dining Hall. Congratulations to these young men!
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