The Distinguished Alumni Society recognizes and honors those alumni who demonstrate outstanding leadership beyond the Webb School community. Membership in the Distinguished Alumni Society is awarded by the Alumni Board and the Board of Trustees of The Webb School. Members of the Distinguished Alumni Society include Webb Alumni who, through personal commitment, work ethic, and service, have achieved significant success in their professional careers and have made outstanding contributions to their communities, demonstrating Sawney's mission and bringing honor to themselves and to the Webb School.All living Webb School Alumni are eligible for membership in the Distinguished Alumni Society. Candidates are nominated and selected by the Alumni Board and confirmed by the Board of Trustees. At Webb, an “alumnus/alumna” is defined as any individual who completed one or more academic year(s) in grades nine through twelve at Webb School.
In August 2017, the Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes began his position as the new associate dean of students of Virginia Theological Seminary. He was previously the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. At VTS, he is responsible for community formation and admissions, and serves as the chief chaplain to students.
After graduating from Webb in 1978, Bishop Mathes received a B.A. from Sewanee-The University of the South and a M.Div. from VTS. Before coming to VTS as a student, he worked in educational development where he helped raise money for his high school alma mater and directed a successful campaign for St. Andrew’s-Sewanee, an Episcopal school in Sewanee, Tenn.
On March 22, 1992, he was ordained a priest at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Belmont, Mass.
His passion for education and personal growth transferred to a passion for parish life when he became rector of The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less in Northfield, Ill. During his seven years there, church attendance doubled, school participation tripled, and the congregation founded a community outreach program for the elderly and disabled.
In 2001, Bishop Mathes was named canon to the ordinary for the Diocese of Chicago, where he directed the Department of Deployment and Congregational Development. He secured a grant from the Lilly Endowment to establish a clergy mentoring program. He also helped guide 130 congregations through a strategic planning process.
On Nov. 13, 2004, he was elected to serve as the fourth bishop of San Diego and was consecrated in March of 2005. As bishop, he was responsible for raising future leaders of the Church, walking with them through their discernment process and seminary experience. Under his leadership, the diocese completed a successful capital campaign that established a diocesan school for ministry, created an outreach center serving San Diego’s homeless and working poor, and seeded a clergy mentorship fund. In 2007 he received an honorary doctorate from VTS. In 2014 he received the Mayor George Moscone Humanitarian Award for his support of the LGBTQ community.
Bishop Mathes and his wife, Terri, have two adult children.
2017 Justice Scott J. Crichton '72
2016 Jorge Redmond '66
2015 Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr. '60
2014 Ed R. Davies '49
2013 Dr. E. Hunter Welles, III '63
2012 Forrest Shoaf '68
2012 Desaix Anderson '54
2011 E. Vane McClurg '60
2010 Pick Stephens '56
2010 Bob F. Thompson '65
2009 Rusty Vest '72
2008 A. Jones Yorke, Jr. '49
2007 Phillip G. Coop '66
2006 Robert Collins '45*
2005 John M. Flexner '44*
2004 Lemuel H. Tate '44
2003 Walter W. Manley, II '64
2002 Edward L. Kaplan '54
2001 Charles P. Alexander '68
2000 George E. Pine, III '68
1999 Robert J. Gilliland '44
1998 Hon. Frank D. Upchurch, Jr. '40 *
1997 William T. Allen, III '40 *
1997 Burch Williams '35*
1996 Sam H. Mann, Jr. '43*
1996 James S. Gilliland '51
1996 Buford Gordon '22 *
1995 John B. Hardin '50 *
1995 Hamilton D. Upchurch '43*
1995 George B. Huddleston '50 *
1994 W. Lane Abernathy '39 *
1994 James R. Meadows, Jr. '52*
1994 Henry O. Whiteside '29 *
1993 Wilson Sims, Sr. '42
1993 Wayne M. Rogers, Jr. '50*
1992 Hon. Lester Glenn Fant, Jr. '23 *
1992 Dr. Frank H. Constantine '29 *
1992 Bryant B. Skinner '41
1991 John H. Crichton '38 *
1991 Dr. Lewis M. Branscomb '43