Notable contributions

Recognizing our Alumni

Each year The Webb Schools recognizes alumni who have made notable contributions to the Schools and our community. They are presented in celebration at Alumni Weekend each fall. If you have any questions about the Alumni Awards program, please contact the Alumni Office at alumni@webb.org or (909) 445-8253.

About

Alumni Awards

The Alumni Awards represent the highest distinction bestowed on alumni of The Webb Schools. The program aims to instill an appreciation of Webb’s past and how a Webb education can be utilized. Recipients exemplify one or more core principles of Webb’s mission:

  • Think boldly, mindfully, and creatively,
  • Act with honor and moral courage,
  • Lead with distinction,
  • Serve with a generous spirit.

Submit a nomination by June 30, 2022 to be considered for the 2022 Awards program.

Honors

Award Categories

The Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award pays tribute to alumni who best exemplify the core values of their school’s motto:

Webb School of California: Principes non Homines, “Leaders not ordinary men”

Vivian Webb School: Sapientia Amicitia Atque Honor, “Wisdom, Friendship and Honor”

Criteria
Nominees will have demonstrated one or more of the following:

  • Significant success and/or prominence in their professional career or vocation bringing honor to themselves and to Webb.
  • Exemplary service to the local, national or global community.
  • Affinity for his/her alma mater

Selection
Recipients will be chosen based on the answers to the following questions:

  • How has this nominee had a major impact on the profession and/or community in which he/she has been active?
  • In what ways have the nominee’s achievements been truly extraordinary?
  • What is the nominee’s level of engagement with the School

Nominees who are not selected are still eligible for the next four years and do not need to resubmit an entry.

Past Recipients
2014: Christian Holmes ’64
2015: Louis Mayberg ’80
2016: Jon Congdon ’81
2017: Garland Reiter ’72 & Dr. Katy Carr White ’87
2018: Blake Brown ’68 & Dr. Sandra Lee Rebish ’88
2019: Guilford C. Babcock ’49 & Col. John S. Rogers, USAF (Ret.) ’59
2020: Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong ’93 and Blake Johnson ’95
2021: Jenn Louis ’89 and Sameer Dholakia ’91

Named in honor of Ken Colborn ’47, the Colborn Distinguished Service Award pays tribute to an alumnus/a in recognition of selfless commitment and ongoing volunteer service to The Webb Schools and/or Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology.

Criteria

  • Distinguished and significant volunteer service to Webb and/or the Alf Museum
  • Service is over an extended period or for a specific project or activity

Selection
Recipients will be chosen based on the answers to the following questions:

  • In what ways has the nominee served Webb and the alumni community?
  • In what ways has this service been outstanding?
  • How has this service benefitted the institution?
  • Has this service been sustained over an extended period of time?

Nominees who are not selected are still eligible for the next four years, and do not need to resubmit an entry.

Past Recipients
2013: Ken Colborn ’47
2014: Jim Hall ’59
2015: Dick Lynas ’55
2016: Dodd Fischer ’61 and Peter Ziegler ’63
2017: H. Earl “Bud” Hoover ’52, Kimball McCloud ’67 & Janel Henriksen Hastings ’87
2018: John A. Sutro Jr. ’53 & Jim Drasdo ’63
2019: Miles R. Rosedale ’69 & Dr. Christina Mercer McGinley ’84
2020: Larry Ashton ’70
2021: Bill Ripley ’60

About Ken Colborn ’47
During his lifetime, Ken Colborn (1929-2013) served The Webb Schools with a generous heart for over 60 years. His involvement in the life of the schools is too vast to completely recount, but selection of his important roles included:

  • Three-term President and former member of the Alumni Council
    Honorary Chair of Webb’s 75th Anniversary Celebration
  • Chair of Alumni Weekend, beginning in 1982
  • Reunion Committee Chair on numerous occasions, including the 50-Plus Reunions
  • Webb Fund class agent
  • Member of the 1991 Long Range Planning Committee
  • Development/Marketing Committee Member
  • Alumni Commission
  • Thompson and Vivian Webb Society member
  • In October 2013, Ken was honored at the Alumni Weekend festivities as the first recipient of the Colborn Distinguished Service Award

The Young Alumni Rising Star Award recognizes individuals up to their 15th reunion. Recipients will be selected based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Does nominee have notable achievements in his or her chosen field?
  • Has nominee used their success to bring good to their community?
  • What is the nominee’s level of engagement with the School?

Past Recipients
2014: Stephanie Ho ’04
2015: Micol “Mimi” Issa ’05
2016: Jack Wiese ’06
2017: Jessica Dholakia ’07
2018: Gabe Romero ’08
2019: Pilar Mitchell-Campbell ’04
2020: Noreen Lysette Barcena ’05
2021: Ariel Fan ’10

ALUMNI AWARDS

Past Recipients

Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award

Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong ’93 
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge 
Throughout her distinguished career, the Honorable Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong has exemplified the Vivian Webb ideals of Wisdom, Friendship and Honor. Upon graduation from Harvard University, she worked as a public high school teacher in Ghana. After earning her J.D. from Yale University in 2001, she clerked for a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, worked at an international law firm and then served in the Justice Department during President Obama’s administration. In 2015, she joined the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington, D.C., a foreign aid agency run by the United States government. Over the course of her legal career, Judge Frimpong practiced numerous areas of the law including white-collar crime, immigration, civil rights, international law, and consumer protection. She was appointed to the Superior Court of California by Governor Jerry Brown in 2015 and took the bench in 2016.  She currently serves as an Assistant Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division and presides over a criminal courtroom in downtown Los Angeles.

Of being a judge, Judge Frimpong says: “I had wanted to become a lawyer to make society work better and fairer… and I truly loved advocating for my clients. Over time, however, I came to see that the judge is also an advocate – for justice and the rule of law. The more I considered it, the more I felt drawn to the role. And ultimately, the opportunity to grapple with complex legal questions, make difficult decisions, demystify the justice system for the public, and protect the rights of all who come before me was too intriguing not to try.”

Judge Frimpong has also been a strong supporter of her alma mater (from which she graduated as valedictorian) engaging with Webb students whenever she can. She’s been a guest speaker multiple times at Sophomore Career Evening, delivered the keynote address at the 2018 Honors Symposium, hosted alumni in her Los Angeles courtroom (including Jason Brooks ’99 and his class of high school students) and most recently, served as an alumni mentor for Webb’s first-ever black student-alumni affinity meeting earlier this year.

Blake B. Johnson ’95
Entrepreneur and Investor
“My Webb education has played a part in every success I’ve had – it taught me to think, to lead, to have a great work ethic. It taught me to think about consequences and not just in a ‘is this smart or stupid?’ way but in a manner which raises the more important question: ‘is this right or wrong?’”

With that foundational testimonial, Blake Johnson provides what he believes is the basis for all that he has achieved – and it is quite a list. Johnson has successfully founded and cultivated a variety of businesses which currently exceed $1 billion in valuations. Both Currency Capital and IM Capital Access (companies in which he was the Chairman and Founder), were named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, and several of his ventures have landed him on the Inc 500/5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies.

His most recent enterprise, Byte, a direct-to-consumer dental aligner company, has achieved significant success expanding to Australia, Canada, Europe and Mexico. In 2020, Byte converted their 150 Juell3D printers to make masks, face shields and ventilator parts for frontline healthcare providers. In January 2021, Dentsply Sirona announced that it acquired the clear dental aligner maker in an all-cash deal worth $1.04 billion. Forbes magazine confirmed Byte was the fastest company ever to reach a billion dollars in valuation that was not funded by venture capital or any outside investment. Blake Johnson built this unicorn in record time in what some have called one of the greatest direct-to-consumer success stories of the century.

In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Johnson is an enthusiastic philanthropist, supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Boy Scouts of America (he achieved Eagle Scout status as a teen), the International Justice Mission, and MOCA Los Angeles. He was the chairman of YPO Los Angeles in 2020. Through his Blake Johnson Alliance, founded in 2015, he follows his passion for creating and improving opportunities in his Southern California communi