Cum Laude Society
What is the history of the Cum Laude Society?
Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society is dedicated to honoring scholastic achievement in secondary schools. The founders of the society modeled Cum Laude after Phi Beta Kappa and in the years since its founding, Cum Laude has grown to 382 chapters, approximately two dozen of which are located in public schools and the rest in Independent schools. Membership is predominantly in the United States, but chapters also are located in Canada, England, France, Spain, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
What are the requirements to be in the Cum Laude Society?
Each Chapter may elect up to 20% of the members of the Senior Class in the college preparatory curriculum who have an honor record. Half may be elected at the end of the junior year or at any time during the Senior year and the remainder at the end of the Senior year. The 20% limit is not to be construed as a requirement to elect the full number permitted every year. If for some reason the chapter feels that in a particular year more than the 20% should be elected, they should seek permission to do so from the District Regent before the elections are held. Because classes do vary in academic quality from year to year, especially in smaller schools, it has been a judgment in many schools that the election of a smaller percentage will on occasion better serve the purposes and goals of the Society, and in such cases the school is urged to restrict the number of students honored by election into the Cum Laude Society.
What are the key benefits of being a member of the Cum Laude Society?
The presence of a Cum Laude chapter at a secondary school is an indication that superior scholastic achievement is honored. From an induction ceremony, which can range from a formal, separate event to a segment of an awards day, to service projects, scholarly writing or other scholastic activities, individual chapters of Cum Laude create programs appropriate for their own campus that benefit the larger community as well. In several schools younger students are commended by Cum Laude, encouraging them in their scholastic pursuits, while in others visiting scholars are presented by the chapter membership for the edification of all.
Based on the information, here is our review:
Our first observation is: that this society was formed in 1906, meaning it is over 100 years old and has withstood the test of time on college campuses.
Our second observation was: that individual chapters of Cum Laude create programs appropriate for their own campus that benefit the larger community.
Our third observation was: that this society is specifically for seniors only, with a small percentage actually eligible for membership.