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This past week the Greenhills Chapter of the Cum Laude Society inducted new members for the 2019-20 academic year. Given the unique challenges of quarantine and remote learning, the Greenhills Chapter decided to deliver the society charge in person — in accordance with social distancing guidelines — along with the certificate of membership, the Society booklet, and the membership pin.  

The Cum Laude Society was founded at the Tome School back in 1906 as an interscholastic scholarship fraternity dedicated to encouraging and recognizing true scholarship. The founders intended to create a society based on Phi Beta Kappa to honor the remarkable achievements of outstanding scholarship.  Thanks to the vision and hard work of Latin teacher Jean Deikoff, the Greenhills Chapter of the Cum Laude Society was installed in April of 1981.  At that ceremony, 5 students were initiated.  Since that time 486 students have been initiated into the Greenhills Chapter, including 15 students from this academic year. The Society by-laws allow each chapter to elect up to 10% of the Junior class and another 10% of the Senior class in addition to those members elected in the Junior year, bringing the Senior total up to 20% of the class.  

Seven students from the Class of 2020 were elected and inducted last academic year.  They include Johannes Kretzler, Allie Nishi, Kaan Oral, Natalie Sell, Jane Vaillant, Maya Vijan, Alan Zhu.  Joining them are new members-elect from the Class of 2020–Sam Brown, Emma Chen, Serena David, Sahil Deenadayalu, Will Ellsworth, Anisha Fujii,  and Gabe Seir.  The new members-elect from the Class of 2021 include Sam Bechar, Sydney Cha, Yousef Emara, Michael Keegan, Zoe Shulman, Meghan Woerpel, Bhaavna Yalavarthi, and Thomas Zeng.    

It is the Greenhills School tradition to honor these outstanding scholars as inheritors of a fine and now firmly installed tradition of academic excellence.  In honoring their achievements we honor not only their dedication to intellectual rigor and performance but also the foundational belief of all educational communities—that knowledge is power and that we must use this power to make the world a better place.  It is our hope that by recognizing these individuals we will be honoring the legacy they inherit and the legacy we all intend to pass on.

Written by Mark Randolph, English Teacher

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