Cum Laude Speaker: "Declare a Mission"


McDonogh School’s Cum Laude Society welcomed 32 new members from the Classes of 2018 and 2019 during the 57th annual induction ceremony on Wednesday, April 18. They joined 16 seniors who were inducted in 2017. The national honor society, which recognizes academic achievement grounded in character, honesty, and integrity, is modeled after the Phi Beta Kappa collegiate honor society.

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Jose Antonio Bowen, the President of Goucher College since 2014, spoke to the students about learning in a rapidly changing world. “Learning is about change and being able to adapt,” said Bowen, who holds four degrees from Stanford University including a B.S. in Chemistry and a joint Ph.D. in musicology and humanities.

Speaking to the audience of students preparing for college, he suggested that they think of college as a toolbox, and their goal is to fill it. He was not speaking about choosing a major that will result in a specific job, however, noting that we are unsure what the jobs of the future are. He explained that the tools which will prove most useful in a job are, “the ability to work in groups to solve problems with people who are unlike you.”

He spoke about the importance of being able to adapt to change while staying true to one’s character and urged, “Don’t predict or guess what you will do. Think about how you will do it.”

In the same vein, Bowen concluded by advising the upper schoolers to do what matters, “Declare a mission, not a major.”

The 15 seniors inducted were: Lindsey B., Leland B., Julia C., Raina D., William E., Kalin E., Darden G., Grayson L., Ryan M., Krysten N., Jackson O., Alexander P., Ryan T., Jeremy W., and Caroline W.

The 17 juniors inducted were: Lauren B., Katherine B., Ford B., Michael B., Allison C., Alastair C., Catherine F., Amelia G., Jonathan H., Evelyn H., Danielle J., Anna J., Ian M., Benjamin M., Lucy R., Hannah S., and Rachel T.

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