Each year, St. Mark’s hosts a special ceremony to welcome new inductees into the Cum Laude Society. Modeled after the renowned university honor society Phi Beta Kappa, the Cum Laude Society recognizes students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and a passion for learning, as well as character, honor, and integrity. On Wednesday, April 24, 2019, nine seniors were inducted into the St. Mark’s chapter of the Society: Matthew Scott Coleman, Chase Elliott Honaker, Joshua Kang, Dylan Ken Liu, Robert DeWitt Newman, Lee Jonah Simon, Max Wang, Seth Adam Weprin, and Matthew Y. Zhang. These Marksmen joined ten other members of the Class of 2019 who were inducted last year.
After the new members were inducted, Eugene McDermott Headmaster David Dini welcomed guest speaker, Dean Itani ’11. Dean currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the CEO of Aptos Retail. As a student, he was the editor-in-chief of The ReMarker student newspaper and recipient of the 2011 Headmaster’s Cup.
Speaking to his fellow Marksmen, Dean cautioned students entering college of “shiny object syndrome,” focusing on something that “shines so bright, it becomes difficult to evaluate if you’re shooting for the right goal.” Dean shared his own story of pursuing the shiny object of medical school, only to realize halfway through college that his passions lay elsewhere.
“In college and beyond, embrace uncertainty and doubt. While uncomfortable, those emotions are a clear sign that there is more than one viable option for your path forward,” Dean said. “I wish you luck distinguishing between mere shiny objects and the real engagement that will carry you through a life of thriving.”
Since receiving its Cum Laude Society charter in 1959, the St. Mark’s School of Texas chapter has inducted more than 550 men, a legacy commemorated in the Cum Laude stained glass window in the narthex of the St. Mark’s Chapel.