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Students Inducted into Cum Laude Society

Students Inducted into Cum Laude Society

Twenty-one students were inducted into the Harpeth Hall Chapter of the Cum Laude Society on Friday, May 8 at a special virtual all-school assembly. 

President of Harpeth Hall's Cum Laude society, Meg Beuter '20, welcomed assembly attendees and spoke about the society's history.

"In 1973, Harpeth Hall was granted a charter by the national Cum Laude Society." Meg began. "Since its inception in 1906, the primary purpose of the Cum Laude Society has been to recognize scholastic achievement of students in secondary schools while striving to encourage qualities of excellence, justice, and honor. This assembly today recognizes members of our Junior and Senior classes who embody those qualities, who have embraced the life of the mind, and who have attained a level of academic excellence which has earned them membership in the Harpeth Hall Cum Laude chapter."

She discussed the power of, and the necessity of, access to education. "As a human race, we need education to help us make progress," Meg remarked. "Education empowers us to maximize the amount of good we can do in the world before our short time on Earth expires." Meg also spoke to the inequality of education around the world, especially among women. She shared the story of Kakenya Ntaiya, a woman who grew up in Kenya's rural Massai community who struggled her whole life to gain her education. Meg concluded her moving testament by remarking, "I'm asking you to remember what a privilege it is to go to school. You are able to define your future for yourself. Not everyone gets that privilege handed to them. Whenever you're tempted to complain about school, think of Kakenya...We can use our education to do so much good. Because of your education, you are empowered."

Vice President of Harpeth Hall's Cum Laude society, Katie Dovan '20, then introduced the winner of the 2019 Lulu Hampton Owen Chair for Excellence in Teaching, Ms. Bonnie Moses, Upper School Social Science Teacher, to deliver the Cum Laude address.

"There is some irony in the fact that this pandemic occurred in 2020...Some lucky people in this world are blessed with perfect 20/20 vision and there is an expression, which most of you know, that hindsight is 20/20," Ms. Moses began. "As an historian, I am well aware that, while history doesn't exactly repeat itself, it does rhyme a lot, and the lessons of the past often inform present and future actions. But I am not going to focus on 20/20 hindsight this afternoon. Instead I want to talk about 20/20 foresight...In other words, how might we emerge from this with a 20/20 vision for the future?"

Ms. Moses spoke about the lessons we, as a global community, are learning from this widespread pandemic. The crisis, she commented, "reminds us that, as human beings living on the same planet, there is a lot more that unites us than divides us." Ms. Moses also discussed how social distancing, with almost half the world's population confined in some way, has affected the planet's ecosystem for the better. She emphasized the importance of science and critical thinking, and pointed out how the crisis has given us a "clearer vision of our responsibility to the greater good." 

"An important part of Harpeth Hall's mission is to send forth young women who will use their knowledge well in the world," Ms. Moses concluded. "Embrace this opportunity with the understanding that you are the future guardians of this moment in history. You are the ones who will carry these lessons forward, and it is you who will share them with a generation yet unborn. When you leave Harpeth Hall, you will have a great deal of knowledge, many skills, and even more opportunities. It is our fervent hope and expectation that you will use them well... because there is a lot of work to be done and the world needs you." 

Congratulations to all of our 2020 inductees!

2020 Inductees


Janet Elizabeth Briggs
Devon Elizabeth Campbell
Sarah Randolph Cook
Quinlan Havana Cyr
Grace Sanghee Lee
Clara Suzanne Murff
Spencer Claire Robbins
Catherine Ward Ryan
Gretchen Claire Walsh
Nora Mae-Ying Wang

Margaret McKay Bone
Adelaide Landrum Dashiff
Laura Catherine Essary
Eleanor Knox Frist
Caroline Clark Harwell
Sydney Reese Heifner
Evelyn Margaret Knouse
Megan Laura Robertson
Margaret Claire Sullivan
Alexandra Jane Walsh
Jessie Lynette Wills

MarQuis LeBron Chappell

Members in Course

Margaret Claire Beuter
Katherine Rose Dovan
Ainsley Rein Hanrahan
Hannah MacKenzie Higgins
Melissa Langley King
Ingram Pennebaker Link
Alexandra Eleanor Massey
Sarah Elizabeth Parks
Meghna Chandni Ramaiah

Arthur Reeves Echerd, Jr.
Ben Curtiss Fulwider
Jennifer Jean Jervis
Michele Lynn O'Brien
Jacqueline O'Keefe Powers
Legare Davis Vest
Madeline Martin Waud
Robert English Womack
Adam Richard Wilsman