That's what it means, summa cum laude. I didn't really know, so I just looked it up. It's one of those phrases that you hear forever and ever; you know it's good, but you never know exactly quite what it means. So, I googled it and found that it does mean with highest praise which is better than cum laude (with praise) and magna cum laude (with great praise).
The younger of my two daughters, Ladybug, opened her diploma when she was home last weekend. Although she hasn't lived with us for the best part of a decade now, we're still her official home address, and lots of correspondence comes here. That's why her diploma got mailed here. And that's why I know that it says summa cum laude. She likely wouldn't think to tell me otherwise. She hates to appear boastful, you know.
Aside: older daughter, Butterfly, and her husband were also present at the time of the opening of the huge envelope. Being French he had a heckuva time wrapping his head around the degree being called a Bachelor of Arts. How could she get a Bachelor of Arts when she was studying psychology? It just didn't compute; well, it doesn't really make a lot of sense when you think about it. It's just one of those things that you accept in life, and you move on from there.
Ladybug's friend, Powerpuff, the chatty and informative one of the pair, also informed us that Ladybug had made the Dean's Roll of Distinction; at least, I think that's what it was called. As I understand it, only those students who earn first class honours in each and every semester get their names on that prestigious list. That's what my daughter did: earned honours in every semester. I saw her transcript, and she only received one grade below A in four years, and that was a B+!
She started university once before but ended up staying at her co-op placement for a number of years while she sorted things through. She lived in Ottawa for a while and then in Calgary before quitting her job and spending almost nine months travelling in the Britain and Australia. After that she enrolled in University of Alberta, and from there transferred to McMaster in Hamilton. Along the way, she also picked up some stray credits at University of Calgary and Carleton University. Phew!
Ladybug us still sorting out her next moves, but, if she has her way, a post graduate degree or two lie in her path.
As you can tell, I'm a proud papa, but it's not only the level of achievement that I applaud. It's absolutely wonderful, but it's not the foremost thing for me. For me, the thing in life is to do your best in the path that you have chosen. Ladybug has demonstrated huge fortitude and tenacity in doing her very best and in getting to where she is today. She sets her aim high and is willing to work very hard to achieve what she wants, and she doesn't expect expect life to come to her gift wrapped.
And so, I use this little blog to heap a little more praise on one who has already been bestowed with highest praise.