A SHORT HISTORY OF GIVING TO WEBB
Creating the 21st CenturyWebb’s 21st Century graduates are already making their marks in the world. Preparing students for success and leadership in the 21st Century demands that Webb exceed every precedent set in the past. Fine arts, athletics, and academics curricula must be stronger than ever. Support from the Webb community builds on the legacy of giving created by generations who established today’s stability. Join the legacy with your gift today, and watch your gifts grow for decades to come!
Today’s tireless workers – the 1980s and 1990sWebb students in the 1980s and 1990s are today’s “tireless workers” and emerging leaders. Their experiences at Webb share the creative wit and emphasis on tradition passed on from previous generations. During this time, Webb experienced the greatest growth in endowment and annual giving. Alumni, parents, and the community brought Webb into the 21st Century with consistent annual support.
Creativity prevails – the 1970s Progressive social movements and changes in education trends merged with Webb traditions in the 1970s. Girls were admitted again; interscholastic sports competition began; humanities and science curricula strengthened; independence with integrity was emphasized. The student body was highly creative and outgoing, creating the “Webb Feet” mascot and stamping Webb culture with a quirky wit that survives today. The school was climbing toward long-term financial stability.
A world in turmoil – the 1960sThe 1960s were a decade of tremendous social change in the United States and globally. These changes were also felt at Webb. The traditional austere Webb environment was enhanced by a modernizing campus-planning initiative: a new administration building and gymnasium complex were built, transforming the rural campus with images of modernity. Webb students planted many of the trees which now tower over these buildings. Alumni of the 1960s have become leaders of today’s Board of Trustees.
A school divided – the 1950sIn 1951, at the age of 77, “Son Will” Webb ceded financial governance of the school to the Board of Trustees, and Webb officially became a not-for-profit institution. Conflict about the school’s internal governance arose, and national education trends evolved. The permanent “Big Room” classroom building was raised. Enrollment faltered, but Webb survived.
A great generation Following the American Civil War, quality education was difficult to find in the southeastern United States. The Webb School was founded in 1870 by William R. “Sawney” Webb in the basement of a Methodist Church in Culleoka, Tenn., with the support of a local school board of parents. In 1886, Sawney moved his reputable school 50 miles east to the village of Bell Buckle to escape the legalization of liquor sales in Maury County. Bell Buckle citizens and parents sponsored the move.
The first permanent buildings were raised after Sawney’s death in 1926, when governance of the school passed to William R. “Son Will” Webb and the Board of Trustees established by Sawney. Economic distress during the Great Depression and World War II was reflected in the school’s declining enrollment trends, but with the continued support of parents, the Board of Trustees, and the growing alumni population, The Webb School’s strength continued to grow.