Cords On Cords On Cords

February 23, 2023


Kyle Frits and Zoey Hupman after recieving their Summa Cum Laude medals. In the back is Cooper Roy and Ken Peak. (photo provided by Zoey Hupman)

During the award ceremony at the end of every year, some graduating seniors receive special titles reflecting their impressive academic achievements.

Tonya Peck, Fair Grove High School’s guidance counselor, explained that the titles awarded to students are Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude, with Summa Cum Laude meaning ‘With Highest Honour’. In order to get Cum Laude, a student must have a 4.0 total Grade Point Average (GPA), and be involved in at least one extracurricular. For Magna Cum Laude, you have to have a 4.1 GPA and be involved in at least two extracurriculars. Summa Cum Laude is the same as Magna Cum Laude, but you must have a 4.15 GPA.

Zoey Hupman, who received Summa Cum Laude when she graduated from Fair Grove in 2022, shared, “I think that the title of Cum Laude means something different to everyone. For me, I had always been so goal oriented and tried to be the best so I could get to where I wanted to be in life … the title gave me an advantage compared to students who didn’t receive it. However, sometimes I wish I had had a little more fun in high school. I wish I would have hung out with my friends more often and valued the relationships I had at the time.” Hupman is now pursuing a Nursing major with a minor in Spanish.

“Receiving the title allowed me to earn scholarships at my university, which made attending college much more affordable for me. I would definitely recommend pursuing these titles to students still in high school. Not only does it feel like a huge accomplishment, but there’s so many benefits that come with this award, especially if you intend to pursue higher education,” Nolah Leick, who received Cum Laude, urged. She is now studying at Missouri State University as a sophomore in Digital Film & Television Production. 

Although the title receives a lot of praise, there are pros and cons to everything. Stephenie Dugan received Magna Cum Laude, and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Software and Game Development at Neumont College of Computer Science. Her end goal, she says, is to “work in the Game design or UX/UI design fields in industry or sell concept art and commissions for others.” Dugan stated, “I would recommend it if the award is something you solely want to achieve if you’re collecting honors. Not having a title doesn’t make or break your chances for anything but they obviously do help a little.” 

Multiple students of the current graduating class will be receiving these levels of awards at graduation, appreciating their hard work throughout their high school career.

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