Webb Doubles Campus Size to 150 Acres with Purchase of Wilderness Hillside

It’s no exaggeration to say that The Webb Schools rose from humble beginnings. As the story is told, Thompson and Vivian Webb sold nearly all of their worldly possessions in a tag sale to finance a trip from Tennessee to California to take over an abandoned school campus above Claremont. They arrived here with less than $100 in their pockets. Their unlikely success was to be equal parts dream and determination.
In 1922, the asking price for the ramshackle property in the hills above Claremont was somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000. The owners wanted half of the asking price in cash. Well, again, with less than $100 on hand—other arrangements had to be made. And they were.

Through personal loans and private leases Thompson and Vivian cobbled together the resources they needed to get things started. And over time, with the success and growth of the school, more permanent and lasting arrangements were made. Now, as Webb prepares for The Centennial 1922-2022, wouldn’t Thompson and Vivian be pleased to see how Webb thrives!

During those early days of the 20th century, the wilderness hillsides to the east and north of the Webb campus were the property of two sisters who had been awarded the acreage by homestead. As time passed and suburban development grew, the value of the hillsides above Claremont grew with it. Actually, for more than three decades, Webb has been in talks with the two sisters and members of their families about the possible purchase of the land for the schools. Webb’s interest in this hillside land has always been threefold: First, to maintain our Western heritage of wild arroyos and heritage oaks to our east and north. Second, to create a buffer between the campus and suburban development. And third, to allow for future campus improvement and development as the school community and board of trustees desires. All three of these goals have now been accomplished.
“This historic purchase of wilderness hillside, doubling the size of our campus, will allow Webb to be in control of its destiny for the next 100 years. It’s a remarkable accomplishment, made possible only by the hard work of the senior administrative team, board of trustees, life trustees and a small group of major benefactors,” said Taylor Stockdale, Head of Schools.
“As Taylor rightly points out, this is a great moment in Webb’s history. I, too, want to thank and acknowledge the Senior Admin. Team, the Board of Trustees, and those leadership donors that made this all possible. I am thrilled to be a part of this work and this moment. All of us in the Webb community should be excited beyond measure about Webb’s future as we look to The Centennial and beyond,” said Sanjay Dholakia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Please enjoy our gallery of photographs, as well as a short video highlighting the hillside property.

Read More News

Alumni News

List of 4 news stories.


Webb News

List of 4 news stories.

  • UC President Works Toward Guaranteed Admission for Qualified Community College Students

    The president of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, announced today her intention to work towards guaranteed admission for all qualified state community college students to the UC system. This announcement follows Governor Jerry Brown and the state Legislature withholding $50 million in state funding this year--until among other things--the UC system admits one transfer for every two freshman systemwide at each of its undergrad campuses. Read more in the LATimes. 
    Read More
  • Alumni Events April 2018: New York, Philadelphia & London

    Alumni, family and friends are invited to join Head of Schools Taylor Stockdale and special guests for three events this April in New York City (April 11), Philadelphia (April 12) and London, England (April 14).
    Read More
  • Winter Sports Round-Up & Honors 2018

    Once again, Webb athletes had a strong showing across the board during the 2018 winter season. Led by WSC soccer, which finished the season League Champions and with a deep run into CIF, both VWS and WSC athletics posted very positive results. VWS Water Polo also finished its league play in second place.
    “It is always great each season to not only see our athletes and teams be successful on the field of play, but to see them learn and grow as individuals and part of a community,” said Director of Athletics Steve Wishek.
    Read More
  • VWS Dean of Students Sarah Lantz holds a portrait of Vivian Webb

    Women of Webb Around the World

    In honor of International Women's Day, the Alumni Office recognizes the Vivian Webb School's 1,355 alumnae around the globe.
    Read More

Sports Blog

List of 4 news stories.

The Webb Schools Boarding Preparatory School California Private School Financial Aid Paleontology College Placement Top Academics Faculty Ph.D Community Fun