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, this 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 20, 2022, St. Mark’s inducted 19 seniors into the School’s chapter: Salman Sami Abbasi, Jeffrey Jiarui Chen, Matthew Luke Fan, Alex Frank Geng, Mikhail Ghosh, Jedidiah Dhabin Kim, Adam J. Lai, Evan Lai, Ashvin Nair, Lars Andreas Ochs, Sampath Krishna Rapuri, Alexander Louis Ryan, Matthew Thomas Shen, William Christopher Shoup, James Matthew Singhal, Ekansh Vinay Tambe, Adam Jue-Wen Wang, Darren J. Xi, and Jeremy Yu.
After the new members were inducted, Eugene McDermott Headmaster David W. Dini welcomed guest speaker Jennifer Sampson. Sampson currently serves as President & CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the largest non-governmental funder of programs to improve education, income, and health in North Texas. She is also the parent of a ninth-grade Marksman.
Sampson shared important lessons with Marksmen about pursuing a life of purpose. “Do work that matters. Choose to participate in initiatives that will constructively influence and help make a difference in your world and your community,” Sampson said. “Seek out mentors who can guide you, challenge you, and surface opportunities for you. Accelerate your impact by inviting diverse partners, voices, opinions, and people to the table where you are sitting.”
She referenced a quote from Confucius that stated ‘humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.” To this, Sampson added, “I encourage you to ask for help when you need it, have the humility to recognize and encourage greatness when you see it in others, and do not be threatened by it but be inspired by it. I can’t wait to see you lead in the world where my son will be growing up right behind you.”
Since receiving its Cum Laude Society charter in 1959, the St. Mark’s School of Texas chapter has inducted nearly 600 men, a legacy commemorated in the Cum Laude stained glass window in the narthex of the St. Mark’s Chapel.