Eleven Seniors Inducted into Cum Laude Society

“This year, given our distinctive challenges, I think it appropriate to consider anew the reality of smart people,” began Headmaster Brennan in virtual Hall on April 23. The morning’s Hall was dedicated to the invocation of eleven Class I boys into the Roxbury Latin chapter of the Cum Laude Society. Smart people, Mr. Brennan continued, “brimming with inventiveness, and dreams, and problem solving abilities are often the people who are effective collaborators eager to combine their smarts with those of another.” 

With lively recordings of “Gaudeamus Igitur” and “The Founder’s Song” as bookends to the celebration, Mr. Josh Cervas, president of RL’s Cum Laude chapter, provided a history of the organization: “By formally recollecting our origins each year, we also reaffirm our commitment to the Society’s original and abiding motto—three Greek words inspired by the three letters of the old Alpha Delta Tau name: Alpha stands for Areté (Excellence), Delta for Diké (Justice), and Tau for Timé (Honor). These three words, with deep roots in our past and far reaching implications for our future, raise qualities of mind and character which, ideally, each member of the Society will espouse as his own values and strive to instill in others throughout his life.”

“Even as we celebrate the achievements of the Cum Laude inductees today we acknowledge that they are smart, and… smart people can put their smarts to good use. Smart people can do for others and for humankind… But smart people can also make wars, and foster genocide, and exacerbate the unjust distribution of wealth. Smart people perhaps are most dangerous, and surely most disappointing, when they fail to utilize their smarts, when they acquiesce in the mediocrity all around them, or fail to call out that which is wrong, that which is evil, that which is destructive. Here, in a place crawling with smart people… I implore you to reflect upon what it is that you have been given, and what it is you will do with those gifts. It is safe to say that these times require smart people who are also good, and who are committed to great causes.”

Each spring, the all-school Cum Laude ceremony honors the life of the mind—affirming that at the heart of a good school is scholarly engagement. You can watch the entirety of this year’s virtual Cum Laude ceremony here. The following seniors were inducted into the Cum Laude Society this year:

Avi Benjamin Attar
Aidan Starling Cook
John Gerald Harrington
David Harley LaFond
Eric Ma
Liam Phelps O’Connor
Ian Ross Richardson
Michael Alexander Stankovich
Jonathan Francis Weiss
Andrew Zhang
Christopher Grant Zhu