Webb’s History

The Beginning

Thompson Webb graduated from the Webb School of Bell Buckle in 1907, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill before beginning a career as a farmer in Southern California’s Coachella Valley. He married Vivian Howell in 1915. After a failed onion crop in 1918, Thompson accepted an invitation to join the faculty at his father’s school.

While teaching in Tennessee, Thompson received a letter from a well-respected educator in California telling him of an abandoned school in Claremont, California. He encouraged Thompson to make a deal for the land and start a school of his own. In the fall of 1922, Thompson Webb opened Webb School of California with 14 boys and four teachers.

Thompson’s influence on education in America goes beyond the 40 years he served as headmaster of Webb School of California — he was instrumental in the founding and organization of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) in the 1940s. Thompson was also a vital force in the establishment of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), which was modeled after the California association.

100 Years

Our Milestones

The Centennial

In 2022, The Webb Schools will celebrate 100 years of growth, innovation and unbounded thinking.

Vivian Webb School

In 1981, after months of discussion and preparations, the Vivian Webb School for girls was founded.

Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

In 1936, Webb teacher Ray Alf began the explorations that would lead to the founding of the nationally-accredited Alf Museum.

Webb School of California

In 1992, Thompson Webb founded Webb School of California with 14 boys, four teachers, and an unbounded spirit of learning and discovery.

Our Promise for the Next 100 Years

A Centennial Campaign Coming Soon

Permanent and lasting. As Webb looks to celebrate its first 100 years while preparing for the future, we know we must accomplish three important goals as part of a Centennial Campaign. First, we must make our values and mission permanent and lasting by endowing Webb for the decades of growth and opportunity that lie ahead. Second, we must future-ready our campus home for the 21st century, including classrooms, laboratories, dormitories and faculty homes. And third, we must continue to provide leadership support to our current students and faculty as they carry out their important work on campus today.


Our Promise for The Next 100

To learn more about how you can get involved in The Centennial and support Webb, please look for more information in Alumni, Parents and Support.

The Centennial Years Celebrations Coming Soon!

29th Annual Peccary Society Dinner

October 22, 2021

Discover Webb

Consider this your invitation.