Cum Laude 2016

Top Row (L2R): Jacob Dexter-Meldrum,  Ryan Cain,  Jonathan Kim, Brandon Sugarman,  Jaime Yrastorza, Michael Nettesheim, and Gabi Limón. Bottom Row (L2R): William Bai, Sam Hill,  Eunbie Coe, Julia Gan, Emma Liberman, Cecelia Sanborn, Alondra Torres-Navarro, Minty Pham, and Jessica Liou. – Ashleigh Mower for Cate School.

On the evening of May 16, sixteen seniors were inducted into the Cate School Chapter of the National Cum Laude Society. The society, founded in 1906, is dedicated to honoring scholastic achievement in secondary schools. Modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude has grown to nearly 400 chapters, primarily in the United States. Students are selected for induction based on the quality of their academic work and for demonstrating good character, honor, and integrity in all aspects of school life. 

Director of Studies Lisa Holmes led the ceremony. She told members of the Cate community who had gathered in the Katharine Thayer Cate Memorial Chapel that the group of selected students includes artists, gifted performers, mathematicians, scientists, writers, historians, and athletes. "While each one of these young scholars has a favorite discipline or an area of strength," she said, "each has also excelled across disciplines and worked to become better readers, writers, creators, and problem solvers. In a community that values a life of the mind, they have shown us how rich that life can be, and in two, three, and four years at Cate they have taken full advantage of their gifts."

Dr. Roberta Rudnick, professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara gave the Cum Laude address this year. Rudnick, who studies the formation of continents, described her professional and scholarly path, which she called "a random walk" but noted that it has been "wonderful and joyous."

Rudnick was a first generation college student at Portland State University who credits her teachers, professors, and an early grant from the National Science Foundation with giving her the confidence to pursue her love of earth sciences. She asked the assembled students to "go out of your way to thank teachers who have made a difference," and urged them, among other things, to find joy in their studies and life's work.

The following seniors were honored with Cum Laude distinction during Monday's ceremony:

  • William Bai of San Marino, CA
  • Ryan Cain of Huntington Beach, CA
  • Eunbie Coe of Tujunga, CA
  • Jacob Dexter-Meldrum of Santa Barbara, CA
  • Julia Gan of Chapel Hill, NC
  • Sam Hill of Santa Barbara, CA
  • Jonathan Kim of Los Angeles, CA
  • Emma Liberman of Woodland Hills, CA
  • Gabi Limón of Carpinteria, CA
  • Jessica Liou of Saratoga, CA
  • Michael Nettesheim of Ventura, CA
  • Minty Pham of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Cecelia Sanborn of Summit, NJ
  • Brandon Sugarman of Santa Barbara, CA
  • Alondra Torres-Navarro of Los Angeles, CA
  • Jaime Yrastorza of Lincoln, NE