The Student Experience

Traditions at Webb

Thompson Webb, our founder, was fond of saying, “Without honor there can be no trust, and without trust there can be no community.” He felt, as we do today, that honor goes beyond personal integrity. It means not only knowing what is right, but also having the courage to stand up for it. At Webb, character education is driven by student leaders elected by their peers with approval of the faculty—the Honor Committee for boys, and the Honor Cabinet for girls. Each group works to positively impact the understanding of Webb’s high standards of conduct, as well as affect positive behavior in the student body.

Each year, during the fall and spring semesters, senior boys and senior girls are invited to craft a “chapel talk” to deliver to their respective schools—to students, faculty, staff, family and special guests. These talks are given in gratitude and meant to express a student’s growth and development while at Webb—growth gained through failure and success. They range from the light-hearted to the deeply philosophical and serve as a forum for senior boys and girls to share lessons learned with their younger peers. 

Senior boys from Webb School of California travel to Arizona to tackle the Grand Canyon a few days before they graduate. The boys and their senior advisors hike from the rim to the bottom and back in a single day. It is a monumental experience for everyone involved—a trip remembered and talked about during Alumni Weekend reunions for years to come.
Senior girls from Vivian Webb travel to Yosemite to tackle Half Dome during these same final days before graduation. After a stop to enjoy some whitewater rafting, the girls make the iconic Half Dome ascent—summiting the mountain using the infamous “cables."    
Twice a week and on other special occasions, the boarding community gathers for formal dinners in formal dress. Students rotate tables each semester, and share the responsibilities of serving and clearing dinner tables. These special community-building dinners offer an opportunity for students to socially engage with each other and the faculty.  
As they have done since the late 1930s, Webb faculty and students hunt for fossils in the deserts of California, Montana and Utah. During the freshmen year, every boy and girl participates in a weekend peccary trip to the Barstow-area. For those students keenly interested in the museum and paleontology, there are also two to three-week fossil-hunting trips every summer. 
We begin each academic year in August by offering off-campus class retreats by school and grade level. These retreats range from beach camping to mountaineering and provide a great opportunity for students and faculty to reconnect after a long summer and prepare for the important work ahead.   
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