Vivian Webb School Announces 2023 Commencement Speaker
Taylor Stockdale, Head of The Webb Schools, has proudly announced the graduation speaker for Vivian Webb School’s 40th graduation. Rita Forte, Webb Class of 1999, will deliver the Commencement Address to the VWS Class of 2023.
Forte, a graduate of Williams College, produced a slew of mixtapes during the Hyphy era of the 2000s, played at house parties, and worked as a DJ for the hip-hop radio station KMEL. Forte also had a side business making graphic tees, which included a “Got Bay?” t-shirt mirrored after the well-known “Got Milk?” ad campaign. This side hustle eventually became a full-on screen-printing shop and marketing agency called The Olive Street Agency. Forte is the Founder and Manager of this company in Oakland, California. Olive Street Agency specializes in social media management and merchandising, along with video content production and talent partnership services for individuals, brands, and small businesses.
When interviewed by an Oakland media outlet, Forte’s mother Mary, who also does administrative work at Olive Street Agency, stated how proud of her daughter she is for all these accomplishments. “I feel like it’s taken 20 years to get to this point and she’s been through a lot of different things and it’s all culminated into this accomplishment,” she said.
Forte was a stand-out athlete here at Webb, and those athletic interests paired with the love for her community in Oakland led her to co-found “Women’s All B-Ball” in the Bay Area. This program provides women opportunities to play basketball recreationally as adults, whether it be pick-up games, 3-on-3 tournaments, or league play. This organization has served over 1,500 women since its inception.
“It is not surprising at all to see how far Rita has come and what she is accomplishing in her community,” says Head of Schools Taylor Stockdale. “She was a leader, a scholar, and a tremendous athlete here on campus. To see the work she has put into creating a business, organizing recreational leagues, and staying involved in her alma mater is inspirational, and again, completely unsurprising. Anyone who knows Rita can attest to her leadership.”
While at Webb, Forte was VWS Vice President of the Black Student Union, a Rogers Scholar, and President of VWS Associated Student Body. She also was a top athlete, being part of the CIF-finalist cross country team, the CIF-finalist basketball team, and one of the nation’s best hurdlers on the track. As an alumna, she has served as a reunion chair, attended several Webb events, and been a panelist at an Honor Symposium.
Vivian Webb School’s graduation will take place on Saturday, June 3, 2023 on Faculty Field.