During the past two weeks, Della McDougal’s name has come up a lot – mostly when it was time to hand out honors and awards.
She was inducted into the Culver Academies chapter of the Cum Laude Society during the Commencement Convocation on Saturday. The presence of a Cum Laude chapter at a secondary school is an indication that superior scholastic achievement is honored. Cum Laude is modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, the collegiate honorary program.
Last week during the Academic Awards Convocation, the Sierre Madre, California, graduate received the Charles and Ann Duff Purchase Award for her painting “Jessica.” Her painting was selected by the Visual Arts faculty for the award and will be placed in the Culver Collection. The Duff Purchase Award is named in honor of former instructors Charles and Ann Duff. Their combined commitment to artistic excellence guided the program from 1976 until 2002. The award is given to the graduating senior who best exemplifies the pursuit of excellence in the visual arts.
She did the oil on Masonite piece earlier this school year. While she has been involved with art “forever,” McDougal only started painting during her sophomore year. She graduated with honors in Visual Arts.
Along with the Duff Purchase Award, McDougal also received the John R. Mars Award for excellence in Spanish. The award is presented in honor of Dean Mars, who taught Spanish at Culver Academies for 35 years and served as the chairman of the Modern and Classical Languages Department for 11 years, before being named Culver’s 10th superintendent in 1976.
In mid-August, she will be leaving for the Dollar Academy in Scotland as an English Speaking Union scholar. Her post-graduate year will be spent at the co-educational day and boarding school in the town of Dollar in central Scotland.
“I wouldn’t be 18 by the time I started college (this fall),” McDougal said, so she opted for the ESU post-graduate year. It is an ideal opportunity to continue her education and mix in some exploring, she explained. “I’ve always wanted to travel.”