13 Inducted into Cum Laude Society at Commencement

During the Williston Northampton School’s 176th Commencement on May 28, 2017, History and Global studies teacher Peter Gunn led the induction of 13 new members into the Cum Laude Society.

“Every year the Williston Northampton School community witnesses what can be accomplished by a wonderful mixture of human potential and hard work,” he said. “And we catch a glimpse of a brighter future.  We now honor the finest scholars in the class of 2017 with their public induction in to the Williston Northampton chapter of the Cum Laude Society.  In electing these scholars to Cum Laude, Williston celebrates their academic accomplishment and, in a broader sense, the fundamental mission of our School.  These young people show us what can be accomplished by an academic life inspired with purpose, passion, and integrity.”

The Cum Laude Society is a national honor society modeled on Phi Beta Kappa. Williston Academy joined the society in 1921. The Northampton School for Girls received its charter in 1951.  And in 1971 the society granted the merged Williston Northampton School a new charter.  Membership into the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic award that the Williston faculty can bestow.

“All of us gathered here can take inspiration from the three words that form the motto of Cum Laude:  Areté, meaning excellence; Diké, meaning justice; and Timé, meaning honor, Gunn said. “Excellence, Justice, and Honor can characterize the life each of us chooses to lead – not just in the classroom, but across our campus, and in the broader world.”

He continued, “Far more of you have grown into accomplished scholars than we can recognize at this moment.  Indeed, for every academic award winner named yesterday and today we faculty know of another one of you who made teaching and learning the best job in the world.  You remind us that learning remains a fundamentally progressive, optimistic, and democratic enterprise. We, your faculty, thank all of you for striving to live that life.  We try to nurture your curiosity and persistence in the search for truth, beauty, and justice.  In turn you teach us – about language and art, about math and science, about history and philosophy and faith – and above all, about a love of learning.

“Moreover, we thank your families.  We hope they will enjoy today as a reflection of their influence upon your lives.  Indeed, you should remember the words of John Quincy Adams – “who you are, is where you have been”.  Remember to thank all of the people who have helped you both here and beyond these green gates – to grow your roots and your wings.

“Please consider admission into Cum Laude an invitation to assume stewardship of the truth. True scholars strive to discover greater truth, to work collaboratively, and to put their discoveries into the service of humanity. Knowing you as we do, we are more confident than ever about the future prospect.  May you embrace the opportunity to improve an ever-changing world.”

Gunn called to the stage Cum Laude members inducted in January (see below) and then welcomed the new members, who received a membership pin and certificate from President Peter Valine and Vice-President Greg Tuleja:

  • Saul Blain
  • Noah DeVos
  • Tyler Greenwood
  • Nicholas Hill
  • Haruka Ikemoto
  • Nancy Kang
  • Ava McElhone Yates
  • Gabriella Mercier
  • Ian Ostberg
  • Nicholas Randolph
  • Natalie Richard
  • Alexis Ryan
  • Chaiwat Setwipatanachai

January inductees

• Sima Gandevia
• Zi Dong Gao
• Jin Young Lee
• Soma Mizobuchi
• Tomasz Paluchowski
• Zachary Robbins
• Jordan Sansone
• Shengfu Shen
• Jiaying Tang
• Anna Wilinsky
• Emily Yeager
• Molly Zawacki

Congratulations, honorees!

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