The Rumson Country Day School celebrated the achievements of its graduates inducted to the Phi Beta Kappa Society with a holiday on Tuesday, February 16. The nation’s most prestigious honor society, PBK recognizes excellence in the arts and sciences each year. To date, RCDS knows of over 60 alumni who have been selected for membership and suspects that there are more.
Kathryn Clark '12, the most recent alumna known to have received the honor, graduated from The Peddie School and then Rhodes College magna cum laude with a degree in art history. She was also the recipient of the national Unsung Hero Award and one of seven students inducted into the Rhodes Hall of Fame – an honor based on individual merit, leadership in student activities, service to others, and overall contributions to the campus community.
“RCDS taught me to think of challenges as opportunities. The rigorous yet supportive environment prepared me for so many things,” said Kathryn, recalling how her teachers encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone. “The School prepares well-rounded students who think about things in an interdisciplinary way. This skill lends itself to others like multitasking and adaptability – something that served me well heading into the workforce six months ago amid the pandemic.”
Fellow RCDS alumnus and Phi Beta Kappa member Matthew Haddad '97 agrees.
“I credit RCDS with everything frankly,” said Matthew. “The environment was both nurturing and demanding in a way that pushed you to excel. My teachers inspired me to think beyond the narrow and taught me to be dedicated regardless of what you’re doing. This set the tone for my future.”
Matthew’s journey after RCDS took him to CBA and then on to Lafayette College, followed by Cornell Law School. Now a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City, Matthew recognizes that his nine years at RCDS were instrumental in shaping his life both professionally and personally.
“RCDS’s motto “learn for life” and the four pillars – Kind, Honest, Responsible, Respectful – they made us stronger,” said Matthew. “I carry them with me today.”
Matthew hopes to instill these values in his children. which is one of the reasons he recently enrolled his daughter in RCDS’s Early Childhood Education Program.
“I look back fondly on the family environment at the School. If I can give that to my daughter along with a solid educational foundation, an open mind and a thirst for learning, I’ve done my job. I hope that she gains what I did from RCDS and more.”
Families interested in enrolling their child(ren) are encouraged to contact Director of Admission and Enrollment Management Tracey Wetmore to learn more.