Cum Laude Convocation Features James Snyder ’69

Thursday, March 31, 2022
James Snyder ’69

Mercersburg honored 28 members of its Class of 2022 for excellence in academic work at its annual Cum Laude Convocation April 1 in the Irvine Memorial Chapel on campus. James Snyder ’69, international president and director emeritus of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, executive chairman of The Jerusalem Foundation, and an emeritus member of the school’s Board of Regents, was the invited speaker.

Members of the class chosen for membership in the school’s Cum Laude Society chapter are Carina Cole ’22 of Boiling Springs, PA; Joyce Cui ’22 of Shenzhen, China; Charlie Dicke ’22 of New Bremen, OH; Michelle Feng ’22 of Beijing, China; Maddy Gilner ’22 of Rector, PA; Sarah Grady ’22 of Mercersburg, PA;  Alison Huang ’22 of Taichung City, Taiwan; Terrance Ji ’22 of Shanghai, China; Roy Kang ’22 of Seoul, Korea; Kyle Kim ’22 of Fullerton, CA; Aidan Kirkman ’22 of Hagerstown, MD; Haruto Kitagawa ’22 of Yokohama, Japan; Eric Liu ’22 of Hagerstown, MD; Julia Mills ’22 of Greencastle, PA; Khoa Nguyen ’22 of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Linh Nguyen ’22 of Hanoi, Vietnam; Folake Okunsanya ’22 of Lagos, Nigeria; Amanda Peh ’22 of Singapore; Tommy Quick ’22 of Denton, MD; Avo Reid ’22 of McLean, VA; Ben Rihn ’22 of Stahlstown, PA; Emma Shuford ’22 of Hickory, NC; Madeline Stang ’22 of Eden Prairie, MN; Matthew Tavarez ’22 of Paterson, NJ; Nicole Treml ’22 of Harrisonville, PA; Amy Wu ’22 of Cypress, TX; Joie Xiao ’22 of Shanghai, China; and John Xu ’22 of Shanghai, China. 

Listen to Snyder’s address

Snyder served on Mercersburg’s Board of Regents from 1983 to 2013 and was the 2019 recipient of the Class of ’32 Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the highest honor presented to a member of the school’s alumni body.

A graduate of Harvard University and a Loeb Fellow of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Snyder spent 22 years working at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, eventually becoming the museum’s deputy director before assuming the presidency of the Israel Museum in 1997. He was also the featured speaker at Mercersburg’s Commencement exercises in 2005, and was originally chosen to speak at the school’s Cum Laude Convocation in 2020 before that event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Snyder and his wife, Tina, are the parents of two children, including Daniel ’05.

Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society is billed as the secondary-school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. Cum Laude honorees are elected as seniors by the faculty of Mercersburg’s Cum Laude chapter. Mercersburg is one of 382 secondary schools across the country with a Cum Laude Society chapter; those chosen for membership represent the highest level of academic achievement within the school.

Front row (L-R): Eric Liu, Amanda Peh, Amy Wu, Nicole Treml, Madeline Stang, Julia Mills, Emma Shuford, Khoa Nguyen, Kyle Kim.
Second row: Sarah Grady, Joyce Cui, Linh Nguyen, Joie Xiao, Maddy Gillner, Carina Cole, John Xu, Tommy Quick, Avo Reid, invited speaker James Snyder. Third row: Charlie Dicke, Folake Okunsanya, Roy Kang, Michelle Feng, Aidan Kirkman, Terrance Ji, Ben Rihn,
Haruto Kitagawa, Matthew Tavarez. (Not pictured: Alison Huang, who is with School Year Abroad.)


For more information on this story, please contact Lee Owen ( in Mercersburg’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.