Since 1922, Webb has thrived because it has grown and innovated while staying true to its founding values and traditions. Our most important traditions include our Honor Code and Signing-In ceremonies, Chapel Talks, Community Dinners, Freshman Peccary Trips, Start-of-Year Class Retreats, Senior Trips and more.
Honor Pledge Ceremony
Webb School of California students hold a ceremony in the beginning of the year for sophomores, juniors and seniors to add sign their name to Webb’s Honor Code – a tradition that stretches back to the first days of the school. Students take the pledge voluntarily and in recognition of Webb’s core values of honor, trust and community.
Vivian Webb School students begin each year with a Signing-In Ceremony, with new students entering their name in the Enrollment Book first opened on Sept. 11, 1981 on the school’s first day. Student leaders give a rose to each new student and the entire school heralds the start of the year by singing “Daughters Strong,” the school song.
Each year, seniors are invited to craft a “chapel talk” 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 lighthearted to deeply philosophical and serve as a forum for seniors to share lessons learned with their younger peers.
Twice a week and on other special occasions, the boarding community gathers for formal dinners in formal dress. Students rotate tables several times per year 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.
Freshman Peccary Trips
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 freshman year, every student as part of their evolutionary biology course 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.
Start-of-Year Class Retreats
We begin each academic year 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 connect or reconnect after a long summer and prepare for the important work ahead.
Seniors from Webb School of California travel to Arizona to tackle the Grand Canyon a few days before they graduate. The students 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.
Seniors 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 seniors make the iconic Half Dome ascent – summiting the mountain using the infamous “cables.”