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Cate School Inducts 13 Seniors Into Cum Laude Society

Cate School inducted 13 members of the Class of 2013 into the Cum Laude Society in an evening ceremony at the school’s Katharine Thayer Cate Memorial Chapel on Wednesday.

The society, founded in 1906, is dedicated to honoring scholastic achievement in secondary schools. Students are chosen 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 told members of the Cate community, who gathered for the ceremony, that the scholars selected this year include gifted performers, celebrated mathematicians, physicists, historians, athletes and brilliant writers.

“In a community that values the 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 advantage of their gifts,” she said.

Dr. Susannah Porter, a paleontologist and associate professor in the Department of Earth Science at UC Santa Barbara, was the honored speaker. Porter described both the humbling and thrilling aspects of being a scientist.

It’s humbling, she told students, faculty and guests, because of the vastness of life’s diversity, the depth of geologic time and the inherent uncertainty of science.

Dr. Susannah Porter of UCSB delivers the address during Wednesday's Cum Laude Society induction ceremony. (Cate School photo)
Dr. Susannah Porter of UCSB delivers the address during Wednesday’s Cum Laude Society induction ceremony. (Cate School photo)

“Because of what we’ve figured out in the last 150 years or so, we can appreciate everything our predecessors did not know: that in the past our planet has hosted stunningly different worlds — different continental configurations, different climates, different landscapes filled with strange creatures, long dead, that lived millions and hundreds of millions and billions of years ago,” Porter said. “My point here is not to belittle the ideas of our predecessors — they were doing the best they could to make sense of their world given the state of knowledge and technology at the time. My point is that we are no different from them. What incredible things do we not know? What jaw-dropping paradigm shifts have we yet to make?”

Its thrill, Porter observed, is that science “reveals the beauty and wonder that is all around us, thereby making the world seem more magical, not less.”

Wednesday’s ceremony marked the 60th annual initiation of the Cate School chapter of the Cum Laude Society.

The following students were inducted:

» William Anderson
» Lane Bhutani
» Caitlin Cain
» Ethan Chan
» Shanise Djuhari
» Danielle Hanks
» Alexis Hill
» Susan Kim
» Sung-Kuk Matthew Lim
» Sydney Read
» Abhay Singh
» Emily Sosrodjojo
» Cody Sugarman

— Sarah Kidwell represents Cate School.

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