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Hilltop Happenings

Cum Laude Society Inducts Elite Scholars in Annual Spring Ceremony
Shana Stalker

-Written by Instructor in English Procter Smith P '05

On Monday, May 31, the Salisbury Chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted eleven new members to the prestigious national organization, founded in 1906. Salisbury was granted its charter in 1959, joining what now numbers over 300 independent schools in recognizing preeminent scholars throughout the United States. After having to adapt to restrictions last spring that necessitated virtual inductions, the ceremony returned to the Chapel this year, albeit with five of the new members inducted remotely and with live attendance limited to the inductees’ advisory groups so as to conform with indoor, social-distancing protocols here on the Hilltop.

A tradition that distinguishes Salisbury’s Cum Laude Chapter is to honor each inductee with a personal tribute from one of the faculty members in the Chapter. These tributes recognize not only the inductee’s academic achievements during his Salisbury career but also other accomplishments that embody the organization’s three guiding principles: Arete, Dike, Time – the Greek words for Excellence, Justice, and Honor.

For this spring’s eight sixth-form inductees, Jack Chefetz of New York, NY, was presented by Mr. Roger McKee ’72, a member of the Art Department and Salisbury’s Senior Master; Peter Gottsegen of Salisbury by Mr. Toby Ayer, a member of the Science Department; Aidan Kennedy of Brentwood, CA, by The Reverend Doctor Kirk Hall ’90, the School Chaplain; Daniel Newman of New York, NY, by Mr. Procter Smith, a member of the English Department and President of the Salisbury Chapter; James Patrick of Culver, IN, by Mrs. Julia Barbato, a member of the World Languages Department; EunGyul Suh of Seoul, Korea, also by Mr. Smith; Jiahao Tang of Hong Kong by Mr. Christopher Russell, Chair of the History Department and Secretary of the Salisbury Chapter; and Jiaxi Wu of Beijing, China, by Mrs. Trudy Pzynski, a member of the Math Department.

Three fifth formers earned the additional distinction of receiving early induction on the basis of their especially distinguished academic accomplishments. Those inductees were Zheng Cao of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, who was presented by Mr. Andrew Will, Salisbury’s Dean of School; and both Yuwen Gao of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China and Tianze Zhao of Beijing, China, who were also presented by Mr. Russell.

Two other members of the Class of 2021 participated in the ceremony. Both Chris Luo of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, and Chuck Wang of Suzhou, China, were inducted a year ago as fifth formers, earning them the honor of placing the Cum Laude pin on their Sarum brothers’ lapels, another longstanding tradition of the Salisbury Chapter.

In addition to honoring the new inductees, the Salisbury Chapter also formally invested one faculty member – The Reverend Doctor Hall, who accepted his appointment this spring.

This year’s ceremony marked the 61st such at Salisbury and brings the student membership of the Chapter to 366. The names of Monday’s eleven inductees will be added to the names already displayed on the Cum Laude plaques, which line the first-floor hallway of Main.

To view photos of this special event visit our SmugMug album