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Taylor Stockdale
Several weeks ago in Sunday Chapel, one of our highly talented and devoted faculty members gave an address to the students that I thought was particularly moving.

When in chapel, you may remember that the handcrafted wooden pews tend to creak at the slightest movement, and so it is common to hear an occasional light creaking sound throughout a service. When the pews don’t creak at all, I know that the speaker really has the full attention of the audience and what he or she is saying is reaching all of us in a deep and meaningful way.

On this night, as I looked out on the students from the altar, I noticed a particular attention to our speaker, as his message was both relatable and insightful. The gist of it was that we as students and adults tend to learn much more from defeat and failure than we do from success. He was making the point from an athletic standpoint, using the recent Sochi Olympics as his reference point (he also happens to be an Olympic-level speed skater and cyclist), but it soon became clear that his message related to all facets of life.

As people, young and old, we succeed and we fail. Dealing with success is straightforward enough, but how we deal with failure and adversity can often define us. Some of us emerge stronger and more resolved from it, and others recoil, see themselves as victims and become defeated. Of course, it got me to thinking about Webb and our mission, and how important it is to foster not only the academic skills and habits of mind that will generate success in life’s pursuits, but also the inner strength and fortitude to pick oneself up from defeat, dust off, and move on as a better, wiser, more determined person.

You will find bundled with this issue of WEBB magazine The Centennial Strategic Plan 1922-2022, a plan anchored in our mission of honor and moral courage and framed by our five distinctive qualities. In it you will note that The Webb Schools—Webb School of California, Vivian Webb School and the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology—are on a journey in time. Soon we will be celebrating our first century. This approaching milestone encourages us to look backward. Reminiscing has its own value, but knowing our history also offers perspective needed for moving forward. In creating an elaborate strategic plan for leading Webb’s three institutions into its second century, we recognize our past and present strengths. We also imagine Webb reaching new heights.

While most plans of this nature are politely glanced at and placed on a shelf, only to be reviewed every several years, this plan deserves far more respect. For it contains goals and aspirations that few schools would have the courage to establish. It seeks, on one hand, to honor fully our founders’ vision of a place that defies modern day trends and relativistic culture, and encourages an education deep in developing inner fortitude and moral courage. And on the other hand, it is truly forward looking, harnessing all that is changing in education and in the world—establishing a dynamic experience for our students, which is unparalleled at the high school level in depth and in impact.

Recently, I was reminded by a Webb student that the two Chinese symbols for “crisis” mean “danger” and “opportunity.” That twofold meaning needs to become Webb’s template for moving forward at a time when many disastrous situations are converging. Life in the 21st century will have multiple challenges, many of which are now beyond our imaginations. Such times will require exceptional leaders, able to be flexible while remaining true to unyielding principles of right behavior.

As my favorite philosopher once said, a good education prepares you for success, but a great education prepares you for failure. At Webb, since our founding, we have been all about striving for success and excellence. And at the same time, we have known that inner fortitude, strength, honor and having the moral courage to do the right thing, even when the right thing was the toughest path to take, are the attributes that count most.
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Alumni News

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  • Webb Athletics Online

    For Webb sports fans who can’t attend a game, or if you’d like to follow along with the live stats and scores from our athletic contests, most of our home games will be covered live with video and play-by-play at The NFHS Network. 
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  • 2018 Alumni Award Recipients

    There is no greater testament to The Webb Schools' values, culture of service and leadership than our extraordinary alumni. Through our annual Alumni Awards program, the Alumni Council and the Board of Trustees honor alumni whose service and achievements truly exemplify the qualities and values that Webb represents. We are pleased to announce the five distinguished recipients of Webb's 2018 Alumni Awards.
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  • Stanford University Takes Stand Against Low Admit-Rate Frenzy

    Yesterday Stanford University announced it would no long publicize its admit-rate percentages in an effort to discourage the growing national obsession over which colleges and universities have the lowest admit-rates in America.

    Stanford’s provost wrote, “When Stanford publicizes its admission numbers during the enrollment cycle, the main result we observe is stories that aim to identify which universities experience the most demand and have the lowest admit rates.”
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  • Come to Alumni Weekend, October 12-13!

    All alumni and friends are welcome to attend Alumni Weekend on October 12-13. We'll have open classrooms, dorm tours, alumni chapel service and lots more. Classes celebrating a reunion this year include 1953, 195, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013! Join us!
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Webb News

List of 4 news stories.

  • 2018 Alumni Award Recipients

    There is no greater testament to The Webb Schools' values, culture of service and leadership than our extraordinary alumni. Through our annual Alumni Awards program, the Alumni Council and the Board of Trustees honor alumni whose service and achievements truly exemplify the qualities and values that Webb represents. We are pleased to announce the five distinguished recipients of Webb's 2018 Alumni Awards.
    Read More
  • Parents Weekend!

    We have a full weekend planned for you, so please make sure we know you’re joining us. You can register for all events on the Parents home page on the website. Join us early for the Thursday, Oct. 4 Parent Reception at Elvira’s, visit classes and meet advisors, enjoy the Affiliates Benefit on Friday evening, and more. Register now!
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  • The Week @ Webb - Theme Week Edition

    Scott Nichols
    The Week @ Webb is a unique look into the activities both on and off Webb's campus. This past week was our annual class spirit event called Theme Week. Each grade level dresses up in the announced theme for four days to gain points for their respective class. At the end of the week, each of the classes performs a skit that will also count towards their overall point total. It's a hilarious week for students and faculty alike, so I hope you enjoy some of the standout costumes and images I collected in this gallery.
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  • Stanford University Takes Stand Against Low Admit-Rate Frenzy

    Yesterday Stanford University announced it would no long publicize its admit-rate percentages in an effort to discourage the growing national obsession over which colleges and universities have the lowest admit-rates in America.

    Stanford’s provost wrote, “When Stanford publicizes its admission numbers during the enrollment cycle, the main result we observe is stories that aim to identify which universities experience the most demand and have the lowest admit rates.”
    Read More
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Sports Blog

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