First Families of the American West: Fleishhacker

The Fleishhacker family enjoys a long, rich history in the State of California. Aaron Fleishhacker (Mort’s and David’s great-grandfather), came to California during the gold rush period and established his fortune manufacturing paper boxes. Aaron’s sons, Mortimer and Herbert, organized the American River Electric Company, an early hydroelectric generation venture and in time, had more than a dozen power plants and factories in operation. They were also influential in the banking industry. The family was deeply philanthropic and responsible for many of the area’s cultural and landmark institutions including the Fleishhacker Zoo, which later became the San Francisco Zoo and the Fleishhacker Pool in San Francisco, famed as the world's largest saltwater swimming pool, which remained in operation until 1971.

Mortimer Fleishhacker ’50, a businessman who carried-on the family tradition of public service with his involvement in several charities in the San Francisco area including The American Conservatory Theater, North American Grantmakers, Museo Italo Americano, Temple Emanu-El, and the Institute of International Education, passed away on October 25th, 2011. True to his love of philanthropy and the arts, Mort and his wife, Frannie, made a generous gift to the Susan A. Nelson Performing Arts Center at Webb. As a student, Mort was editor of Blue & Gold, and a member of the track team.

David Fleishhacker ’55 is a career educator and author. He has served independent Bay Area schools for nearly four decades including as Interim Headmaster of two schools in the South Bay, and as Headmaster of the Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco. In 2002, David published Lessons from Afghanistan, a book about his Peace Corps experiences. At Webb, David was an Honor Committeeman, played football and ran track, was a member of the Drama Club, the Choir and the Peccary Society, and also wrote for Blue & Gold; he was a life member of the California Scholarship Federation.

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  • Autumn Rabe Richards ’97 and James Richards ’97 were married in Vivian Webb Chapel.

    Webb Sweethearts: Stories From Alumni Couples

    Danielle Gordon & Jessica Rice
    From high school sweethearts to alumni who were married in Vivian Webb Chapel, Webb has been the site of many romances over the years. Here are a few stories from alumni who met on Webb’s beautiful campus.
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  • Visual artist Rachel Lee Zheng '12

    Rachel Lee Zheng ’12 to Open First Solo Exhibition in NYC

    Jessica Rice ’12
    Using monofilament and LED spotlights, visual artist Rachel Lee Zheng ’12 creates large-scale installations that transform dark gallery spaces into meditative environments filled with lines and beams of color.
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  • The Week @ Webb - Together in January

    Scott Nichols
    The Week @ Webb is a periodic photojournal of events on and off Webb's campus. Did it feel like January lasted 31,000 days instead of just 31? I know that for me, it's important to spend as much time as I can with other people when life gets really busy. We all do better when we surround ourselves with friends and family and that's what I tried to capture in this latest gallery.
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  • Webb Completes CAIS/WASC Accreditation Process

    Taylor Stockdale
    Taking stock. This is how it begins—simply though completely. After more than a year of planning, gathering data, meeting, discussing, writing and rewriting—and after a four-day campus stay by our CAIS/WASC visiting committee (California Association of Independent Schools / Western Association of Schools and Colleges)—the evaluation work is done. 
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