Vivian Webb School Commencement Speaker
Dr. Ann Longley
Ann Longley had left Claremont and returned to England for a year of graduate study at the University of Bristol when the idea blossomed—that she should return to Claremont and become the founding head of a new school for girls, the Vivian Webb School. It was not an easy time for Ann or Webb—in no small measure because of the recent passing of Ann’s husband and Webb School of California’s beloved headmaster, Stephen Longley. Yet, when the invitation was offered and then accepted, the brilliant legacy of Vivian Webb School was forged.
As planning continued for the school, Ann remained in England to finish her studies, returning to Claremont as she could during breaks in the academic schedule. Then, in the fall of 1981, with a total of 34 students in 9th and 10th enrolled, Vivian Webb School was launched. In a moving speech, Howell Webb, one of Vivian’s four sons, commented that his mother had always wanted daughters and now she had them.
It has been written that Ann believed strongly that leadership skills were developed by practicing them and that traditions evolved because they had meaning. She led Vivian Webb through 1984, when 12 students from the founding class graduated. Enrollment by then had grown to 79. Ann left Vivian Webb to become headmistress of the prestigious Roedean School in Brighton, England where she stayed until 1997. Back in England, she was once again close to her family, son Justin and daughters Katie and Emma.
Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education from the University of Sussex in 1991, Dr. Longley is a renowned educator and leader both in the U.S. and England. She and Stephen were at Webb from 1973 to 1979, when Stephen was head. Ann returned in 1981 and stayed here to 1984. Each year the Ann R. Longley Prize for distinguished leadership and service is awarded to a Vivian Webb student. The Stephen R. Longley Award is also given each year for “consistent and unflinching adherence to the highest standards of personal integrity and conduct; for being true leaders; for good spirit and good sportsmanship; for projecting to others deeply seated ethical and moral values.
Dr. Ann Longley will speak at Vivian Webb School Commencement on Faculty Field at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Following the VWS commencement ceremony, alumni and friends are invited to attend a lunch with former VWS headmistress Ann Longley. Click here to RSVP
Webb School of California Commencement Speaker
Dr. Bob Connolly ‘89
Bob Connolly ’89 has cared about and cared for the Webb community since he moved onto campus in 1982—then the young son of two Webb math teachers. “The beauty of being a faculty kid,” Connolly says “was to see my parents in a professional role where they excelled. It was very rewarding.” Later, Bob would become an active member of the Class of 1989 and both his sisters would attend Webb as well, Sara ’90 and Veronica ’93.
After Webb, Bob attended Pitzer College in Claremont. He received his MA in theology from Claremont School of Theology and then his doctorate in psychology from Alliant International University.
As an alumnus, Bob has remained a passionate and active volunteer. In fact, between 1997-1998 he even helped care for Ray Alf during his last years on campus. He has also been a member of the Alumni Council since 2015 and most recently took leadership of the The Centennial Archives Project.
Today, Bob is a licensed clinical psychologist providing consultation on severe mental health/substance abuse cases all over the country and the Executive Director of Connolly Counseling & Assessment with offices in Claremont, Pasadena, Los Angeles and Orange County. He is generous as a host to students and young alumni who want to learn more about the counseling profession through our Unbounded Days and Webb@Work programs—and has hired Webb alumni into his practice as well.
Recently, Bob and his wife Nancy Tung created an endowed fund in his father’s memory. Their gift will establish The Robert L. Connolly Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund to help Webb attract and support the best and brightest students who wish to build on an established foundation of integrity, hard work, and personal achievement. Preference will be given to students matriculating from a public school as Connolly Sr. spent many years as a public school teacher before joining the Webb faculty. “Dad always said that of all his teaching experiences, Webb was the best experience of his career,” Connolly Jr. said.
Dr. Bob Connolly '89 will speak at Webb School of California Commencement on the Alamo Lawn at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019.