Cum Laude Society Inducts 26

The Memphis University School chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted 26 members from the classes of 2024 and 2025 during a ceremony February 23. Membership in the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic honor students in a secondary school can receive. The MUS chapter, modeled on Phi Beta Kappa, was chartered on December 14, 1967.
Representing the top 10% of their class in grade point average, juniors Amrik Chakravarty, Joephen Chen, Alan Cheng, Wills Frazer, Wilkes Gowen, Rushil Komeravelli, Michael Liu, Oscar Liu, Leo Meske, Kushal Patel, Joey Paul, Paxton Silver, Whitt Stockburger, and Gabe Ungab were inducted into Cum Laude.

Also inducted were seniors Harrison Goetze, Will Hess, Ihsan Omer, Bennett Owen, Eshaan Patnaik, Hays Prather, Jackson Ransom, Jeremiah Tisdell, Worrick Uhlhorn, Marley White, Jerry Xiao, and Seth Yarbrough, who represent the top 20% of their class in GPA.

They join the Class of 2024 honorees inducted last year: 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, who represented the top 10% of their class in 2023.

During the ceremony, Headmaster Pete Sanders introduced Arts Department Chair Grant Burke who not only teaches photography and ukulele-building but also oversees the chapel presentations and the Artist-in-Residence program. He launched the visiting artist program in 2011, and it is now in its 13th year. Burke spoke about a subject he knows well: creativity.

“Creativity is not confined to the canvas or to the theatrical stage; it is a force that permeates every aspect of our lives,” he said. “Whether it’s science, technology, business or even sports, creativity is the catalyst that propels us forward. In education creativity is the cornerstone of problem-solving.”

Burke, who has worked in photography for the NBA the past 17 years, has seen how creativity comes into play on the court. “Just as an artist approaches a blank canvas with the intent to create something unique and beautiful, a basketball player steps onto the court with the opportunity to weave a tapestry of moves, passes, and shots that captivate audiences and leave a mark on the game.”

He encouraged the boys to cultivate creativity. “Let us inspire, encourage, and empower each other to think beyond the ordinary, to dream without limits, and to create a world that reflects the boundless potential of the human mind.”

As he took the podium following Burke’s remarks, Sue Hightower Hyde Chair of English Lin Askew underscored the importance of creativity in every endeavor, including understanding great works of literature or building a robot.

“The young men being inducted into Cum Laude today serve as models of such creativity. They have embraced the virtues extolled in the motto of the society: in the Greek, Arrete or excellence, Dike or justice, and Time or 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.”

For the induction Academic Dean Flip Eikner ’77 announced the names of the new members, who stood in front of the stage as Headmaster Sanders, president of the chapter, presented the charge. Afterward parents and faculty joined Cum Laude members at a reception in the Dining Hall.

See the Photo Album HERE.