Service Beyond Self -- Another Look at Annual College Rankings
Beginning in 2005, the Washington Monthly began publishing an annual issue devoted to college rankings of a new type—a ranking based on public good, or more specifically what colleges and universities are “doing for the country.” This project by Washington Monthly is meant to be, I believe, a kind of antidote or argument against the ranking program promoted by U.S. News & World Report—one in which enormous weight is given endowment wealth, admission selectivity, and the research productivity of school faculty rather than their skill with and attention to teaching undergraduate students. Over the years I’ve followed it with great interest, and indeed have been pleased to see it gaining in readership and popularity.
As you can read for yourself in WM, the editors believe “public good” is defined by or demonstrated in three categories… “Social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).” Perhaps this last category means the most to me—and certainly it speaks to the mission of The Webb Schools directly—to “Serve with a generous spirit.”
Looking through this lens, though you still find Stanford, Harvard and MIT near the top, you also find such remarkable learning communities as Harvey Mudd College (ranked #2)—yet just below Berea College in Kentucky (ranked #1 with 85% of students receiving Pell Grants)—a fascinating college devoted to serving first-generation college students, as well as lower-income students. Also near the top, Pomona College, Davidson College, Knox College and more.
My hope is that everyone connected to Webb (alumni, parents and friends) will take a look at this ranking program in the Washington Monthly and consider the importance of the project—to look beyond merely what a college can do for one individual to what a college (or school for that matter) can do for a country, our country.
On January 12, 2019 five accomplished alumni returned to campus for our first ever Networking Essentials with Webb Alumni session. The panel of speakers represented several industries including law, real estate, green energy and marketing. Eager students spent their Saturday afternoon with our incredible alumni learning about the vital skills needed to effectively network and succeed in the increasingly complex job market. Each panelist spoke about a different aspect of networking and gave a brief background of their journey after Webb.
During the first week back from winter break, students and parents had a chance to hear from young alumni about their experiences at college including managing academics and being away from home, maintaining a healthy mind and body, as well as a panel on college athletics.
USA Water Polo has announced Marcelo Leonardi '94 as the Midwest Zone recipient of the Sandy Nitta Distinguished Coaching Award. Leonardi is the Head Coach of the women's water polo team at the University of Michigan.
“The process of finding the right college is more often than not riddled with anxiety for both students and their families. It is paradoxically both increasingly complex and more streamlined than ever. Technology allows students to simply add multiple colleges to the Common Application with a few clicks. And yet the convenience doesn’t reflect the intricate web of criteria that factor into applying to one college over another.”
So opens the feature to our recent issue of WEBB Magazine. Reported and written by Christopher Michno, the piece delves into the myths and truths intertwined in the college admission process. He also offers up a series of personal success stories from recent Webb alumni now thriving at Stanford, Columbia, UC Berkeley and beyond. Part two follows young alumni who chose colleges related to their avocations—like art, business, engineering and others. The feature photography is done by Elisa Ferrari and focuses on the beautiful and varied architecture of the Claremont Colleges.
The Winter Dance Show 2019 UN / covered - is an exploration in what it means to cover and uncover - in music, dance, costuming, and text. Featuring choreography by dance coach and Webb faculty member Michael Szanyi and senior dance students, the show highlights self-expression through movement. How do we make something known? How do we bring that to light? By uncovering dance, the show asks audience members to explore how the study of movement informs their human experience.
It is no accident, I believe, that at this very moment there is a riveting tale in The New Yorkerabout the art and science of decision making. Or, at least, not an accident that I found it and read it. Here at Webb, at this time of year, there is no shortage of students and families making some of the most important decisions (they believe) of their lives--from admission to and enrollment at Webb, to college admission for our seniors. Joshua Rothman rights beautifully about it here, bringing in examples from Darwin, Tolstoy, the modern parent and more. Read it in The New Yorker.
Augustyn Family Curator and Director of Research & Collections Andrew Farke is quoted today in The Washington Post on the impact of the federal government shutdown on fieldwork planning for paleontologists. Beyond the impact on visitor centers at such places as Dinosaur National Monument and the Petrified Forest National Park, research and fieldwork on federal lands has been dramatically affected, too. Read more in The Washington Post.