On Thursday evening, May 10, the community gathered in the Chapel as the Salisbury Chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted ten new members to the elite organization dedicated to recognizing the top scholars at its 300 member-schools throughout the United States. The induction ceremony followed a dinner at Headmaster and Mrs. Chisholm Chandler’s home in honor of the inductees and their families and also attended by each boy’s faculty advisor, the administrative team, and the faculty membership of the Salisbury Chapter.
Following an invocation by School Chaplain Kirk Hall, Chapter President Procter Smith and Secretary Chris Russell gave the history of Cum Laude at Salisbury, which dates back to 1959, and in the United States, where the organization began in 1906. In a long-standing tradition of Salisbury’s Cum Laude Chapter, each inductee then received a personal tribute from one of the faculty members in the Chapter, recognizing not only his academic achievements during his high school 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 the sixth-form inductees, Henry Nordahl was presented by Mr. Andrew Will Dean of the Class of 2018; Theeraphat Pothisawang by Mr. Toby Ayer, Chair of the Science Department; Nicholas Sant Foster by Ms. Lisa Sheble of the Philosophy and Religion Department; Daniel Turevski by Mr. Bryan Pannill of the English Department; Stephen Willis by Mr. Smith of the English Department; and Rudolph Xu by Mr. Russell, Chair of the History Department. For the fifth-form inductees, James Kelly was presented by Mr. Russell, Jared Levine by Mr. Will, Jianing Ren by Mr. Pannill, and Haoqun Zhan by Ms. Kim McDowell, Chair of the Math Department. Quinten McElhiney of the Class of 2018 carried out another tradition of the Salisbury Chapter, in which each new member has his Cum Laude pin affixed by a student – in this case Quinten – who received the honor at last year’s ceremony.
The occasion was also an opportunity to pay tribute to two faculty members of the Salisbury Chapter who recently passed away: emerita member Barbara Pogue, the first woman elected to the Salisbury Chapter, and emeritus member Allan Bredenfoerder. In his comments on the contributions of these two teachers to Salisbury’s academic life, Mr. Smith praised Mrs. Pogue and Mr. Bredenfoerder as educators who “lived lives of quiet dedication.”
This year’s ceremony was the 58th such at Salisbury and brings the student membership of the Chapter to 336. The names of Thursday’s ten inductees will be added to the names already displayed on the Cum Laude plaques which line the first-floor hallway of Main.
- Procter Smith