Cum Laude Society Welcomes New Members


McDonogh School's Cum Laude Society welcomed 30 new members from the Classes of 2015 and 2016 at an induction ceremony on April 22. The national honor society, which recognizes academic achievement, is modeled after the Phi Beta Kappa collegiate honor society. One of 18 Maryland schools with a Cum Laude chapter, McDonogh has been a member since 1955.

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Daniel Porterfield, President of Franklin & Marshall College, emphasized “the value of striving for integrity in everything we say and do, in how we carry ourselves, always.”

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Porterfield’s remarks:

I define integrity as the quality of character that we display when our actions are consistent with high values like honesty, honor, and respect for others. When the things we do consistently match up with the best things we believe, that’s integrity.

Because we are celebrating high academic achievement today, I’d like to emphasize the relationship of intellectual life to integrity.

In short, it’s like this. In athletics, winning is good, but winning isn’t always synonymous with integrity. I think we all know that. Similarly, in academic life, high achievement is good, but earning A’s isn’t always synonymous with integrity, either.

Integrity is a higher value than achievement. And while there are many distinctions we cannot achieve – I will never be the best scholar in my field, for example – we all can achieve integrity.

Dr. Porterfield went on to tell three short stories about how people he admires have shown integrity in their intellectual lives. One of the stories was about McDonogh alumna Katie Machen '11, a soon-to-be graduate of F & M. He described Katie as a “generous other-centered campus citizen,” highlighting her respect for classmates, volunteerism, and genuine desire to help others.

He shared, “I admire the way Katie has grown by giving – the ways she has pursued learning both for its own sake in directions that speak to her and out of an emerging sense of the good that she can do with her mind for others. She loves learning so much she wants to share it. These are very much McDonogh’s values. I see it in your mission statement, and I see it in how Katie and others carry themselves and live.”

In closing, Dr. Porterfield affirmed, “A McDonogh education is a gift for life. I congratulate all of you for pursuing it, and I wish you the very best.”

The 15 seniors inducted were Allison G., Madeleine H., Jameira J., George F., Jack K., Kevin M., Madison M., Jenna N., Sophia R., Alexander S., Oliver S., Margaret S., Eleanor V., Hannah W., and Andrew Y. The 15 juniors inducted were Samuel A., Piroz B., Henry B., Julia D., John D., Anna F., Ann G., Alyssa I., Sehyun L., Sydney M., Arman M., Abhishek M., Megan N., Rij P., and Michael P.

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