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. This year, twenty members of the Class of 2021 were inducted into the St. Mark’s chapter of the Society: Jordan Alexander Gaines, Matthew Z. Ho, Mustafa Umar Latif, Henry Masur McElhaney, Rishi Mohan, William Luke Piazza, Robert Louis Pou V, Sarbik Saha, Siddhartha Sinha, Edward James Tagtmeier, Saivishnu Thirunagari, Varun Raghav Trivedi, Sivakrishna Chandra Uppalapati, Vatsal Venkata Vemuri, Benny Wang, Timothy Ignatius Weigman, Shiv Raj Yajnik, David Fei Yang, Maxwell Ming Wu, and Charlie Botian Zhang.
While the Cum Laude Society constitution only allows the induction of up to one-fifth of the senior class, the ceremony stood as a testament to the collective dedication of the entire Class of 2021.
“Because of all of you, we enjoy a community that fully supports our journeys to become our best selves and that roundly encourages our worthy contributions to the world outside,” said Nancy Marmion, J. J. Connolly Master Teaching Chair and the most senior Cum Laude faculty member, in her address to the boys. “The few young men honored here stand in for all of us, especially all of you seniors. Both in and out of the classroom, we appreciate and value all that you so willingly contribute.”
This year’s induction ceremony also featured an address from special guest speaker Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Mr. Kaplan also represents the Eleventh Federal Reserve District on the Federal Open Market Committee in the formulation of U.S. monetary policy and oversees the 1,200 employees of the Dallas Fed. Additionally, he is the father of a first-grade Marksman.
“You have a bright future, and the world needs you,” Mr. Kaplan told the boys. “Great leaders and great organizations are built around a nucleus of people who figure out what they believe and take action with the mission of adding value to someone else.”
Since receiving its Cum Laude Society charter in 1959, the St. Mark’s School of Texas chapter has inducted more than 620 men, a legacy commemorated in the Cum Laude stained glass window in the narthex of the St. Mark’s Chapel.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.