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the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Everything you need to know before the Cum Laude Society induction

The Cum Laude society induction is this Friday. Learn what it is, how candidates are chosen, and why the induction is just a tad controversial.
Kate Folkens
Photo from Cum Laude induction in 2019. “(names listed from left to right) Maria Erquiaga , Hailey Mallard, Augustus Bayard, Catherine Van Keuren, Hailey Kadivar, and Kassandra Haakman.”

The Cum Laude Society is a big deal, and for many, it is the most prestigious honor society that exists in academia.

On Friday, April 19th, the Cum Laude Induction Ceremony will be held in the chapel to recognize and honor a small group of top students (10% of each class, to be exact). Earning membership in this society is, for some, their top academic achievement at any school.

According to The Cum Laude Society, “Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society is dedicated to honoring scholastic achievement in secondary schools. The founders of the society modeled Cum Laude after Phi Beta Kappa, and in the years since its founding, Cum Laude has grown to 382 chapters.”

So, how does a student make it into this prestigious society? And why, for some, does getting in seem like an almost impossible task?

According to Science Department Chair Mrs. Charity Clough, there is a specific vetting process for induction.

“Students in the top 20 percent of their class by weighted GPA are selected and put on a list,” Clough said. Following this, there is a silent vote where faculty votes ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for each student, and then the students with the highest percentage of ‘yes’ votes will be inducted.”

Similar to the National Honor Society, the faculty votes are based on integrity, scholarship, hard work, and honor.

Clough said there is a distinction between NHS and Cum Laude.

“The difference between the two societies is that there is no limit on how many students can be inducted into the National Honor Society, but for Cum Laude, it caps at the top 10 percent.”

This selective aspect has been the source of a small amount of controversy in past years, as many very strong students will not make it into the society. For example, the senior class of 2024 has 54 kids, meaning only 5 or 6 kids can be inducted into that class.

Clough commented on the frustrating aspect of having such a small number of inductees.

“It is a real bummer that so few kids can be inducted into the society when we have so many great kids who deserve this distinction at our school,” Clough explained.

But Mrs. Clough added that although some may not have made it into the Cum Laude Society, they are still great students with high achievements and will continue to be recognized and celebrated in other ways.

“At Saint Stephen’s,” Clough said, “we have an Honor Society for almost every subject where any number of students can be celebrated for their successes in each field, as well as excellence awards and book awards given to praise them in areas they excel.”

With Friday approaching, don’t put your head down if you’re not inducted. Be proud of your successes and your other accomplishments.

For the select few of you who will be inducted, congratulations! Being a member of this society is a lifelong distinction and a huge honor.

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About the Contributor
Savannah Hrubar
Savannah Hrubar, Staff Writer
Savannah Hrubar is a first year senior on The Gauntlet and took on the position of a staff writer. Her favorite color is pink, she has a really cute cat, and she plays volleyball in her free time. Her favorite show is Friends but she doesn't have a lot of time to watch TV.

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