In a remarkable online all-school ceremony with speakers from around the globe, Episcopal’s Cum Laude Society inducted 24 new members today, each hailed by classmates and faculty for their academic accomplishments, integrity, and leadership.
“All have reached academic distinction,” said Assistant Head for Academics Mary Fielder. “And the group as a whole can be described as creative, focused, passionate, and entirely motivated.”
The Cum Laude Society
, a national organization founded in 1906, recognizes juniors and seniors for outstanding scholarship, leadership, and character. This year’s inductees were:
From the Class of 2020
Gilbert Amason, Wardie Cammack, Caroline Jones, Charlotte Joyner, Sean Kim, Owen Krivacek, Hayoung Lee, Sofiia Mikadze, Wyatt Singletary, Tallie Steiner, Natasha Wanjiru
From the Class of 2021
Johnny Barrett, Helen Chen, Gigi Friedman, Sofi Igyan, Christopher Kim, Leo Kong, Lawson Laverty, Rachel Marsh, Arianna Otoo, Britney Parkinson, Leslie Reyes-García, Clay Sailor, Justin Yi
Continuing a cherished tradition at Episcopal, seniors currently in the Society welcomed the newcomers, offering personal testimony about how each had demonstrated the qualities that earned them membership. The presenters, who spoke in video recordings from as far away as Beijing, were:
Alli Boehm, Claire Boehm, Missy Brandt, Sunny Miller, Cecilia Moore, Tommy Nguyen, Killian Vetter, South Wallace, Cindy Xin, Mike Yang, David Zeng, Karen Zhang
After the new members were presented, renowned educator and EHS Trustee William Peebles ’73 spoke to the gathering. A standout leader and athlete while at Episcopal who went on to Princeton and earned an MBA from the University of Virginia, Peebles led several independent schools during a nearly 40-year career, including the Lovett School in Atlanta. In his remarks, he described how his experience at Episcopal inspired him to become a teacher.
“This is a place that has always required much from of all of us,” he said. “Those high expectations are rooted in the staff and faculty’s deep concern and love for their students. We sometimes bristle at, rebel against those demanding standards around our effort, our care for others, our participation in the community, our citizenship, and our integrity. But deep down, we know that Episcopal’s exacting expectations come from a place of true concern for us. Through these high standards, we are always being urged to be our best selves, to live into what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the better angels of our nature.’ ”
For more on the ceremony: