This semester, 11 members of the senior class were inducted into the Cum Laude society. Tim Diemer, Katie Engle, Elizabeth Espenschied, Annamarie Martin, Allie Mikolanis, Mia Nannicola, Olivia Robida, Jack Michael Solomon, Marissa Ulchaker, Madison Wagner, and Sam Zou were recognized for their distinguished performance in academics at Gilmour.
The Cum Laude society was founded in 1906 in order to recognize scholastic achievement at the high school level. Today, it has been adopted by 382 schools, two dozen of them public institutions, and the rest independent. It has also spread past the borders of the United States, taking root in Canada, England, France, Spain, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
The founders of the society modeled it off of Phi Beta Kappa, which some consider to be America’s most prestigious academic honor society. This society only accepts students at the college level, and the founders felt that outstanding high school students deserved recognition as well.
Dr. W. David Seibert is a charter member of the society and is currently Gilmour’s Cum Laude Chapter Secretary. He detailed the requirements for induction into the society, saying, “In order to be eligible, a student must be among the top ten percent of their class in terms of cumulative grade point average. But similar to the National Honor Society, Cum Laude does not just recognize grades, taking into consideration other factors, such as character and a zeal for learning.”
The three tenets of the society are Areté, Diké and Timé. These terms are Greek, meaning Excellence, Justice, and Honor, respectively. Gilmour’s hope in maintaining a chapter of Cum Laude is that honorees will carry these tenets with them as they proceed to college and beyond.
Dr. Seibert says, “Unlike National Honor Society, there are no specific requirements that determine whether society members remain in good standing. However, these students have now become role models for their peers, and the Gilmour faculty expects their behavior to reflect that moving forward.”
In the spring, more students will be inducted into the Cum Laude society with one key difference: grades from the first semester of this year will be taken into account. If students recommit themselves to their schoolwork over the next few weeks, they will end the semester on a strong foot.