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McDermott ’83 Family Creates Endowment in Mandarin Chinese

The McDermott Family, Michael McDermott ’83 and Amanda Bi, in honor of their daughter Allegra ’18, have made a leadership gift to establish an endowed fund to support teacher and student development in World Languages and Cultures.  Specifically, these funds will be used to support instruction in Mandarin and provide faculty and students with resources they can use to further their immersion into their study of Mandarin and Chinese culture.
 
“We hope to inspire more Americans (with no family connection to China like me) to learn the language. I feel extremely grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to study Chinese. It was life changing,” Michael McDermott ’83 said.
 
Soon after graduating from UCLA, Michael moved to China to work and learn the language. It was an experiment in total language immersion—and it succeeded. His fluency rapidly increased and his interest and love for Chinese and Chinese culture grew. He later married Amanda Bi in China and together they founded Gung Ho Films, one of the largest and most successful television, print and film production companies in China. Their clients have included major companies like Nike and P&G, as well as projects with such renowned directors and producers as Spike Jonze and Oliver Stone.
 
As Webb has continued to expand its outreach and travel throughout Asia, Michael and Amanda have been true partners—supporting our efforts in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and beyond. Their daughter Allegra ’18 will be a senior at VWS next year.
 
Endowment funds support the schools, the museum, and designated programs in perpetuity. As such, a healthy endowment helps cushion against tumultuous financial markets, shifts in enrollment, and ultimately acts as a line of defense that enables Webb to remain focused on its values and mission. With The Centennial on the not-too-distant horizon (2022), Webb seeks to grow and expand its endowment for financial aid, teacher support and development, the Alf Museum, and more.        
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Alumni News

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  • Another successful year for The Webb Fund!

    Between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, over 1,500 donors supported Webb by making a gift to The Webb Fund! Early calculations show that more than $1.65 million was donated to support Webb's areas of greatest need. Thank you for your support! If you have questions about making gift, please contact The Webb Fund Office at giving@webb.org or call (909) 482-5288.
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  • Jean E. Miller

    Jean E. Miller In Memoriam

    We learned from Jinx Tong (VWS dean from 1991-1996, and director of residence from 1983-1991) that Jean E. Miller passed away on Tuesday, May 22 at the age of 90 years old.   
     
    Jean was born in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1928. She attended Pembroke College (the coordinate women’s college to Brown University) and graduated with an A.B. in English in 1949. She enjoyed a long and celebrated career as an educator in private schools across the country.
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  • Head of Schools Taylor Stockdale speaks at Webb's annual Head's Reception on May, 19, 2018.

    PHOTOS: Over 50 Attend Annual Head's Reception

    Over 50 people gathered at Head of Schools Taylor and Anne Stockdale's home last month for Webb's annual Head's Reception.
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  • Alan Hau ’04

    Alan Hau ’04 Launches New Business With Philanthropic Mission

    Alan Hau ’04 hopes to make a positive impact on the LGBTI community in Hong Kong with his new business, Wooven.
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Webb News

List of 4 news stories.

  • Another successful year for The Webb Fund!

    Between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, over 1,500 donors supported Webb by making a gift to The Webb Fund! Early calculations show that more than $1.65 million was donated to support Webb's areas of greatest need. Thank you for your support! If you have questions about making gift, please contact The Webb Fund Office at giving@webb.org or call (909) 482-5288.
    Read More
  • SendGrid CEO Sameer Dholakia ’91: How a Good Guy Finishes First!

    Self-pride in Silicon Valley is every day, ordinary, embarrassingly understated even. Egomania, some say, a character requirement for success. Really, only the true tyrant can be hailed visionary there. And yet, swimming against such mythical miscalculation is Webb alumnus Sameer Dholakia ’91, CEO of SendGrid. He and the billion-dollar start-up he leads are both kind of a big deal—and for all the right reasons.  
     
    In the June issue of 5280—Denver’s Mile High Magazine, writer Spencer Campbell profiles the man and the company he leads; SendGrid is headquartered in Denver, but also has offices in Menlo Park.
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  • Webb 2018 Commencements in Pictures

    On Saturday, June 2, members of the Class of 2018 were welcomed into the hallowed ranks of Webb alumni. At 10:30 a.m. on Faculty Field, 50 Vivian Webb girls received their diplomas. Entrepreneur and educator Melissa Barnes Dholakia ’87 provided an engaging, memorable commencement address. Barnes Dholakia is a founder of MBD Partners which supports new and existing public K-12 schools in areas of school design, goal setting, monitoring and performance reporting. Her work focuses on increasing opportunities and outcomes for students, especially the educationally underserved.
     
    At 5:00 p.m. on the Alamo Lawn, World-Series ring-bearer Jeff Luhnow ’84 offered his career in Major League Baseball as a parable in perseverance and unbounded thinking to 49 Webb School of California boys. Luhnow is the general manager of the Houston’s Astros; he was previously the vice president of scouting and player development for MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals.
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  • The Webb Schools

    Webb and Hotchkiss were among four leading boarding schools recently recognized for encouraging and fostering independence. Study International based in Europe, an organization that provides independent news and counseling for international students, highlighted Webb in a feature on the virtues of boarding schools.
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