Cum Laude Society Inducts New Class of 2014 Members

On Thursday, April 10, 2014 a highly select group of Class of 2014 seniors was honored and inducted into the School’s Cum Laude Society at a special dinner in Hajjar Auditorium.  The mission of Cum Laude is ‘to recognize academic achievement in secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence (Areté), justice (Diké) and honor (Timé).  In the words of Peter Bograd, D-E’s Cum Laude Chapter President and D-E faculty member, “These students are exceptional examples of young men and women who practice these values every day, in the classroom, in their activities, and in their communities.”

A highlight of the Cum Laude Dinner was a keynote speech by D-E alumna Alison Désir ‘03.  Alison currently works as an Event Manager at Powered by Professionals, a fundraising event management company that produces events for nonprofit organizations. She received both her BA and MA from Columbia University in New York. Throughout her career, Alison has worked with various nonprofit organizations, including the Children’s Tumor Foundation, where she managed events in the South Eastern United States and fundraised over $500,000 towards the mission of ending neurofibromatosis through research, and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, where she was responsible for supporting donors and volunteers in their fundraising efforts.  Beyond her interests in fundraising and event management, Alison is an endurance athlete and an RRCA and USATF certified coach.  In 2012, Alison founded Powdered Feet, an organization rooted in the idea that running can be a vehicle for social change and empowerment.  Powdered Feet strives to make running fun and accessible to everyone, inspiring individuals to make choices that will optimize their health and allow them to Find Meaning on the Run.  Through Powdered Feet, Alison works with athletes of varying abilities, arming them with the physical and mental strength necessary to cross finish lines and find happiness.

In her remarks, Alison spoke of personal hurdles and both small and large victories during  different time periods of her life while at D-E and later, including the experience of her father being diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia; overcoming health challenges of her own;  motivating herself to participate in initiatives and physical events such as fundraising marathons; and ultimately “becoming even more committed to pursuing work and activities that center on providing services, support, or advocacy for individuals and communities in need.”   Alison also spoke of how this incredible life experience was the “catalyst” for her to start Powdered Feet.  Suffice it to say, her presentation was both powerful and memorable for all in attendance.

The Cum Laude Dinner attendees also were treated to a piece performed by student cellist (and Cum Laude honoree) Garrett (“Gary”) Finn ’14, accompanied by his mother Laura Seaton-Finn.

Congratulations to our Class of 2014 Cum Laude Society Honorees:

Min A
Michael H. Chen
Joshua Paul Davis
Julia Owen Feikens
Garrett Eugene Finn
Stacy Elizabeth Goldberg
Noah Max Golub
Nina A. Leifer
Maitreyi Santosh Nabar
Krish Ashok Pamani
Eleanor Mei Politi
Joshua Mordecai Popkin
Angely Mairena Prieto
Marc B. Rosenberg
Daniel Aaron Shlien
Alex J. Shukhman
Samuel Sokota
Alana Solin
Jamie M. Spingeld
Divya Sri Vallabhaneni
Amy Shenshen Wang
Carly Amanda Wolfer

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