Cum Laude Welcomes New Owls


A gathering of newly inducted Cum Laude students following the official induction assembly. From left to right: Jack Stein ‘19, Jordan Bollag ‘19, Lucy Cao ‘20, Kai Nakamura ‘20, Audrey Murphy ‘20, Kiki Tolles ‘20, Bennett Coy ‘19, Bowen Bai ‘19, Caetano Perez-Marchant ‘20

Cum Laude can be defined as “with distinction.” It is with this distinct honor that a select group of juniors and seniors were  honored with induction into this illustrious society.

The society was founded in 1906, and includes by a wide variety of schools.

Cum Laude mirrors the college honors society, Phi Beta Kappa, and includes 382 schools around the nation. High schools are accepted into the program after an intense process of induction.

In California specifically, 32 schools have Cum Laude Chapters, with Laguna, Cate and Thacher being the local ones.

“Essentially what you’re doing is presenting the community with the student body who have really achieved such a phenomenal level,” Head of Upper School Lolli Lucas, said.

The society honors “the scholarship and the intellectual curiosity of a student” as well as their strengths in college preparatory classes, their character and integrity within their academic life.

Students who are inducted as juniors placed into the top 10 percent of their class. As for seniors, the students must place into the top 20 percent of their class. For our community “that is usually four to five students per year, depending on the size of the class,” Lucas said.

With so many traditions and scholarly achievements, why is this honor so important?

Lucas explained that similar to participating in the school play or scoring the winning point in a sports game, Cum Laude provides another chance for students to distinguish themselves.

“For students who are admitted in their junior year, it’s a small and prestigious club, so obviously that’s a part of their college application and their plans after.  It’s something that people know. I think it absolutely has a strong role in terms of their future.”

Cum Laude ceremony took place on April 24 in Spaulding Auditorium and was attended by students, faculty, staff and invited guests.

Both Lucas and Head of School Rob Hereford provided a insightful introductions.

Next came the guest speaker, alumn Nick Miller ‘98 who shared his memorable experiences and moments from his time at school.

Following the opening speeches, new Cum Laude students were introduced by current Cum Laude members Caitlin Gainey, Sullivan Israel, Isabella Sabino and Julia Stone who spoke about each student’s academic and co-curricular achievements.  They include juniors Lucy Cao, Audrey Murphy, Kai Nakamura, Caetano Perez-Marchant, and Kiki Tolles along with seniors Tony Bai, Jordan Bollag, Bennett Coy and Jack Stein.