The 2022 Cum Laude Class & Leslie Brunker '12


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Twenty-nine members of the class of 2022 were inducted into the Cum Laude Society on Tuesday evening, May 24. Following an introduction by Head of School Kai Bynum, and a history of the Cum Laude Society by Dean of Academics Kristine Waters, guest speaker Captain Leslie Brunker '12 spoke to the students and their families. The Cum Laude Society has the tradition of inviting a Cum Laude member from ten years ago to return to speak to the new inductees. Captain Leslie Bunker ’12 spoke to the Cum Laude recipients about embracing change and deviations from one’s perfectly mapped out life plan. Captain Bunker drove her point home by detailing how a harrowing experience while serving in the military taught her to search for fulfillment rather than for perfection. Please watch the full ceremony in the video below. 

Inductees from the Class of 2022:
Maisie Ruth Markovits Bilston
Ava Lynn Cho
Andrew Joseph Cotaj
Matthew Anton Cotaj
Maria Louise Cusick
Jai Amit Desai
Elio Giuseppe DiMauro
Olivia Xiaowei Duan
Haniya Basmah Farooq
Max Robert Gordon
Ava Siobhan Hamblett
Timothy Tze Jing Hsiao
Cyrus Jay Kenkare
Finnbar Daniel Kiely
Robert Joseph Peter Lawler
Erin Elizabeth Low
Samuel Childs Mason
Nathan Samuel Meyers
Cameron Jiaobei Murray
Kyle David Robik
Christopher Esteban Gomes Ruaño
Milo Isaac Sobel-Lewin
Matthew Henry Spenner
Christopher Benedict Takoudes
Shishuo Wang
Zachary Randall Williamson
Andrew Seth Woolbert
Albert Wang Yang
Amy Zhang

Captain Leslie K. Brunker '12 
Growing up in a family of Naval and Coast Guard officers, Leslie was sure she would never do one thing: join the Army. Throughout her six years on the Hill, she focused on preparing herself to be a veterinarian while enjoying the challenges of competing on the field hockey team and studying violin and piano. She left Hopkins for the University of Chicago, the first step in her carefully constructed plan for a career caring for animals, but quickly realized that she needed to change course. After a year, she transferred to the University of Pennsylvania and with an early acceptance, two years later headed to her dream veterinary school at Cornell University. While at Penn, she discovered an unusual passion for working in dog medicine, which led her to commit to serving as a veterinarian in the Army. Leslie received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and was commissioned as a Captain in the Army Veterinary Corps in 2019. 

Now the Officer in Charge at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Veterinary Treatment Facility, there is not a single day that goes as she had planned while at Hopkins. Leslie spends her days making questionable decisions to rappel from perfectly good helicopters, intentionally getting bitten by her favorite four-legged fur missiles, training human providers how to save the lives of Military Working Dogs on the battlefield, and providing comprehensive care for those same dogs when they’re injured or when they swallow something inedible stateside. When not on call or at PT at an ungodly hour, Leslie enjoys running with her own Belgian Malinois and is still trying to convince her family to root for what she now knows is the correct team. Go Army. Beat Navy.
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Hopkins is a private middle school and high school for grades 7-12. Located on a campus overlooking New Haven, CT, the School takes pride in its intellectually curious students as well as its dedicated faculty and staff.