Cum Laude Society Inducts 26 Owls

The Memphis University School chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted 26 new members from the classes of 2023 and 2024 during a ceremony February 24. Membership in the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic honor students in a secondary school can receive. The MUS chapter, which was modeled on Phi Beta Kappa, was chartered on December 14, 1967. The society encourages scholarship under the motto, “Excellence, Justice, Honor.”
Seniors Aryaan Ahmed, Lewis Butler, Nathaniel Greenfield, Johnny Heinz, Amar Kanakamedala, Joseph Keeler, Nickolas Mathews, Parth Mishra, Thomas Preston, Ismael Qureshi, Kyan Ramsay, Alyaan Salman, Andrew Schell, and Charlie West joined the society, as they represented the top 20% of their class in grade point average. 

Juniors Parker Blackwell, Samuel Callan, Gabe Chen, Tyler Dang, Bryan Ding, Dannie Dong, Henry Duncan, Will Gramm, Parth Patel, Charlie Treadwell, Evan Wu, and Alan Zhou, representing the top 10% of their class in GPA, were also inducted into Cum Laude. 

They join the Class of 2023 honorees from last year: Jack Blackwell, Abdullah Elahi, Charlie Gamble, Frederick Huang, Andrew Jones, Varun Krishnamurthi, Jeffrey Liu, Kevin Ma, Max Mascolino, Jack Zaptin, and Lou Zhou.

Headmaster Pete Sanders introduced Assistant Upper School Principal Mark Counce, who called the audience to cultivate godly wisdom regardless of our academic gifts.

Quoting English 19th century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, he said, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool, so great a fool, as a knowing fool.”

Drawing a distinction between worldly and heavenly wisdom, Counce said that false wisdom can be tested. “Does it produce envy, bitterness, selfish ambition, or strife? The Bible says that the wisdom that comes from heaven is ‘first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, without partiality and without hypocrisy.’ (James 3:14-17) Let us work to be so familiar with heavenly wisdom that the worldly kind is easily detected and avoided.”

“Nothing is more needed today than godly wisdom,” Sue Hightower Hyde Chair of English Lin Askew said as he took the podium. “Heavenly wisdom resides in the virtues extolled in the Cum Laude Society,” he said, citing the principles of Excellence, Justice, and Honor. “The ideals conveyed by these terms provide the goals that members of Cum Laude should seek within themselves and should encourage in society at large.”

Academic Dean Flip Eikner ’77 announced the names of the new members, who stood in front of the stage as Mr. Sanders, president of the chapter, presented the charge.

Families then joined the honorees for a reception in the Dining Hall. See photos from the event HERE.