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Cum Laude Convocation Features G. Dean Patterson Jr. ’71

Mercersburg honored 25 members of its Class of 2023 for excellence in academic work at the annual Cum Laude Convocation March 24 in the Irvine Memorial Chapel on campus. G. Dean Patterson Jr. ’71, retired Case Western Reserve University administrator, was the invited speaker.

Patterson challenged the students to put people first in whatever vocation they pursue. 

“Everyone wants to feel cared for, that somebody cares about them,” Patterson said. “It's not about passing judgment. It’s about seeking to understand.”

Listen to Patterson’s address.

Twelve new students in the class were announced for membership in the school’s Cum Laude Society chapter during the service. They are Ava Anthony of Mercersburg, PA; Pere Cäbus Carrera of Lleida, Spain; Grace Carter of Cumming, GA; Mel Cort of Brookeville, MD; Zongqian Alan He of Beijing, China; Emma Hobbs of Hagerstown, MD; Clare Ip of Hong Kong; Greta Lawler of Arlington, VA; Isabel Su of Hagerstown, MD; Zeke Wadlington of Harrisburg, PA; Liza Webb of Washington, DC; and Hongyu Jasmine Zhu of Chengdu, China.

They join 13 students in the Class of 2023 who were chosen as Cum Laude members last fall. Students chosen during the fall included Justin An of Fort Lee, NJ; Damien Dowling of Mercersburg, PA; Dayoung Kim of Seoul, Korea; Colin Lissette of Hanover, PA; Olatz Marques Saralegui of Madrid, Spain; Catherine Orders of Charleston, WV; Peter Rice of Martinsburg, WV; Finia Steeg of Grosskotzenburg, Germany; Matt Wang of Dalian, China; Brant Warner of Frederick, MD; Masa Yamazaki of Tokyo, Japan; Dan Zagorii of Kyiv, Ukraine; and Daniel Zhong of Greencastle, PA.

Patterson was the 2021 recipient of Mercersburg Academy’s Class of ’32 Distinguished Alumni Award. This prestigious award is presented annually to members of the alumni body who have distinguished themselves through character, service, and achievement.

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.