Tupelo High School

Excellence...We'll Take You There!

Today is

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The mission of Tupelo High School is to nurture and inspire the intellectual, emotional, and physical growth of each student in a safe, supportive, and student-centered environment.

School History

The first building designed exclusively for a high school in Tupelo was dedicated on March 6, 1914. The two-story brick and stone building consisted of 10 classrooms and a large study hall. Dressing rooms were available for basketball and football. During the dedication ceremonies, a large flag was given to the school by Leake and Goodlett Lumber Company.
Steady growth in Tupelo's population within 10 years prompted the need for a larger high school. The two-story building built in 1914 was demolished to make room for a new building. Referred to in the Daily Journal as the most magnificent building in the state, the school opened for occupancy on November 26, 1927. The new high school had an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,000 and a library.

Groundbreaking ceremonies on May 21, 1959, marked the beginning of another relocation for Tupelo High School. Standing on a ridge to the north of the Lee Acres in the southwestern part of the city, it opened for classes on September 5, 1961. Dr. W. D. McCain of the University of Southern Mississippi delivered the keynote address and State Superintendent of Education Jack Tubb brought greetings from the Mississippi Department of Education.

The fourteen-building campus which now resides on Cliff Gookin Boulevard opened in 1992.

Cum Laude Society

In 1906, Dr. Abram W. Harris, Director of the Tome School, Port Deposit, Maryland, was determined that scholastic achievement of students in secondary schools should be accorded as much recognition as that given to other accomplishments. He envisioned a Society, modeled on Phi Beta Kappa, which would encourage and recognize true scholarship. Therefore, Dr. Harris with the Phi Beta Kappa members of the Tome School faculty - Messrs. Curran, Ewing, Rich, and Tunstall - organized an interscholastic scholarship fraternity.
At the first meeting in May 1906, officers were elected and conditions were defined under which new chapters could be formed. The name Alpha Delta Tau Fraternity was adopted. The words Areté, Diké, and Timé were chosen for the Society's motto. Dr. Harris, who was elected President at this 1906 meeting, held that office until his death in 1935. The strong position of the Society today can be attributed to his long-standing dedication.
Since Dr. Harris and his associates believed that chapters should be established only in schools of superior academic quality, the group moved slowly in granting chapters. By December 1908, charters had been granted to Tome, Phillips Exeter, Phillips Academy, Evanston, Penn Charter, Centenary Collegiate, and Brooklyn Polytechnic, all schools for boys. The fraternity held its first General Convention in December 1908.

During the Society's existence there has been no deviation from the original objective of the founder - namely, the recognition of superior scholarship. Ten years later, Greek letter societies at the secondary school level were becoming primarily social groups. For this reason the name of the fraternity was changed from Alpha Delta Tau to the Cum Laude Society. At this time the Society was incorporated under the laws of the state of Maryland.

Today, membership in the Cum Laude Society numbers 354 schools. On November 22, 2002, the Board of Officers and Regents of the Cum Laude Society awarded Tupelo High School a local chapter and seventeen students were inducted as charter members on May 5, 2003. Tupelo High School is only one of twenty-four public high schools in the nation with a chapter.

The Cum Laude Society is devoted to the pursuit of academic excellence. Students selected for membership in the society represent the highest level of academic achievement at THS. A candidate should possess an academic record that demonstrates

•Superior intellectual capability,
•A willingness to pursue a difficult curriculum that includes accelerated, honors, and advanced placement coursework,
•An indication that full academic potential has been reached and extended,
•Strong evidence that intellectual interests that broaden and enrich the classroom experience have been pursued outside the classroom.