Eight Students Inducted to Cum Laude Society


The Cum Laude Society at Williston Northampton School inducted eight new members into its ranks during a special assembly on January 5 in the Phillips Stevens Chapel. The newest members of the society were feted during the ceremony, and heard from keynote speaker Justin Frometa ’16, himself a Cum Laude alumni.

The eight inductees are:

  • Amber Fedor ‘24
  • Hudson Fulcher-Melendy ‘24
  • Emily Hamann ‘24
  • Andrea Kinstle ‘24
  • Calvin Klumpp ‘24
  • Catherine Spence ‘24
  • Jeffrey Warner ‘24
  • Yihong Zhou ‘24

“The seniors inducted today are paradigms of hard work, perseverance, intellectual curiosity, and creativity,” Head of School Robert W. Hill III said during his welcome remarks. “They are academic leaders, and while we cannot all emulate their achievements or attain their lofty heights, we can be guided and inspired by their example.”

For his keynote, Frometa, a Development Coach in the Boston Red Sox organization, recounted his journey from Easthampton to the Red Sox, and how self-belief mixed with the encouragement he got at Williston opened doors he never knew were there.

“Based off where I started, what were the chances I’d end up here [with the Red Sox]?” Frometa said. “Well, according to the data, as a low-income student, I was four times less likely to graduate high school than my peers. So, the question becomes, how does someone who ‘isn’t supposed to get there’ end up ‘getting there?’ The short answer – extreme determination, focus, and desire to prove I was bigger than some statistic, but there is so much more within that answer.”

For the induction, Cum Laude Secretary Thomas Johnson read each student’s name, before the inductee received a medal and a certificate from Cum Laude President Beatrice Cody P’23, ’26 and Susan Michalski P’22, ’25. The presentations were made in front of an all-school assembly.

“Since today is all about a celebration of academic achievement and the dispositions required for exceptional work,” Hill said, “I wanted to use my brief remarks to encourage all students to consider their academic goals and mindsets while at Williston where you have the good fortune to be around classmates—like the ones we celebrate today—as you are supported by a deeply dedicated community of teachers who are passionate experts in their fields.”

After the ceremony concluded, the honorees and their families attended a reception at Mr. Hill’s house to continue the celebrations.

See photos from the ceremony on our Flickr page.

To watch the ceremony in full, click here.

About the Cum Laude Society

The Cum Laude Society is a national honor society modeled on Phi Beta Kappa. Williston Academy joined the society in 1921. The Northampton School for Girls received its charter in 1951. In 1971 the society granted the merged Williston Northampton School a new charter. Membership into the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic award that the Williston faculty can bestow.