Unbounded Thinking in Southern California
A 150-acre campus in the foothills of Claremont, California – on the front porch of Los Angeles and part of the Pacific Rim. A boarding and day high school (9-12) for boys and girls with a 100-year legacy of putting honor and moral courage above all else. A fully accredited museum of paleontology. A college placement record that includes 90% of each graduating class attending colleges and universities in the top 10% nationwide. Students on campus from 10 states and 15 countries. A commitment to team sports, outdoor adventure and participation in the arts. These attributes only begin to describe what makes Webb, Webb. While the school was founded in 1922 in the great tradition of the best boarding schools of the eastern United States, Webb embraces the adventurous spirit of California where it thrives. Webb is a vibrant community of unbounded thinkers pushing to solve problems and growing as leaders.
The Webb Schools
At a Glance
Webb was founded in 1922.
There are 408 students.
Webb is a 150-acre campus.
14 countries and 9 states represented in the student body.
Think, Act, Lead, Serve
The mission of The Webb Schools is to provide an exemplary learning community that nurtures and inspires boys and girls to become men and women who: think boldly, mindfully, and creatively; act with honor and moral courage; lead with distinction; serve with a generous spirit.
The Next 100
In 1922, Thompson and Vivian Webb founded The Webb Schools in the rolling foothills of Claremont, California. Over the last 100 years, we’ve seen the timeless values first embedded in the Webb School of California tested and reaffirmed, the establishment of the world-class Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology and the founding and flourishing of a singular and extraordinary Vivian Webb School. Always more than the sum of its parts, The Webb Schools continue to thrive today in a spirit of unbounded thinking, an educational powerhouse like no other.
The Origins of Our Peccary
So why does a strange-looking, piglike creature adorn so much of Webb’s website, publications and campus? For that answer, we need to go back to 1936, when biology teacher Ray Alf took his students out for a fossil-hunting trip near Barstow. Student Bill Webb ’39, son of our school founder, stumbled across a mammal skull. The young men and Alf dug up the skull and shared it with noted paleontologist Chester Stock at Caltech to identify what they discovered.
Stock identified the 15-million-year-old fossil as a previously unknown species of a peccary, similar to today’s javelinas.
The discovery galvanized Alf and the school, launching a feverish campaign to unearth fossils across the U.S. Soon, the fossil hunters had dubbed themselves Peccary Men, created a theme song, and dubbed their fossil-hunting forays Peccary Trips.
In 1968, when noted artist and architectural designer Millar Sheets designed a museum for Webb to house the now 1,000s of fossils students and Alf had discovered, he created a mosaic featuring a peccary over the door.
Today, all Webb students take at least one Peccary Trip as part of their freshman Evolutionary Biology class, learn the Peccary Song and become part of Webb’s Peccary Society. Every summer, more than a dozen students venture into the American Southwest for an extended two-week fossil hunting trek.
Students also explore museum sciences and research through an intensive program of honors and advanced studies that has generated more than 50 scientific papers co-authored by students and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Our 150-acre Campus Home
It’s no exaggeration to say that The Webb Schools rose from humble beginnings. As the story is told, Thompson and Vivian Webb sold nearly all of their worldly possessions in a tag sale to finance a trip from Tennessee to California to take over an abandoned school campus above Claremont. They arrived here with less than $100 in their pockets. Their unlikely success was to be equal parts dream and determination.
In 1922, the asking price for the ramshackle property in the hills above Claremont was somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000. The owners wanted half of the asking price in cash. Well, again, with less than $100 on hand – other arrangements had to be made. And they were.
Learn more about at Explore Campus.