The Webb School, in its 152nd school year, recently paused to mark the 150th anniversary observance, a celebration that originally began in August of 2020. More than 350 alumni, parents and friends attended the Webb 150 Celebration and Reunion Weekend that took place after two postponements because of the COVID pandemic.
The weekend event began with a Community Celebration and Reception on campus, sponsored by the Bell Buckle and Shelbyville-Bedford County Chambers of Commerce. As part of the event, Rep. Pat Marsh presented Head of School Ken Cheeseman with a framed copy of a House and Senate Joint Resolution by from the Tennessee General Assembly to honor and congratulate The Webb School on its 150th Anniversary. Also, a congratulatory letter from U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn was presented to Cheeseman by Stevie Giorno, her representative at the event.
Friday included an alumni, parents and friends tailgate, homecoming football game and alumni class parties. Saturday’s events featured an alumni, parents and friends social and awards program to recognize the 2020 and 2021 Distinguished Alumni Society inductees and the 2020 and 2021 John B. Hardin Service Awards recipients as well as the 150th Party. Webb 150 guests were invited to the Bell Buckle United Methodist Church for the Sunday service and lunch.
Alumni receiving the John B. Hardin Service Award were Charles Alexander and George Pine, both in the class of 1968, (2020); and Brian Wofford, former faculty member (2021). Those inducted as members of the Distinguished Alumni Society were Irvin Ashford Jr. ’87 and Dr. Bill Hardin ’79 (2020) and Andrew K. Howorth ’74 and Elizabeth Allison Tant ’87.
Welcoming guests to the Webb 150 Party Saturday night, Head of School Ken Cheeseman said, “We are grateful and very excited to finally be hosting the Webb 150 Celebration and Reunion Weekend on campus to mark such an important milestone for The Webb School. We are honoring the past, celebrating the present, and looking ahead to what's next,” he said.
“It is a privilege to serve at The Webb School, and I am so impressed by you – alumni, parents, and friends – who have supported Webb,” Cheeseman added. “That kind of commitment is special.” The head of school added, “As Webb begins its next 150 years, I am proud to share that the school is still focused on its traditions, while adapting to meet the needs of the 21st century. We are focusing on the three A’s – Academics, Arts and Athletics – and educating the whole child. This weekend is a chance for us to reflect on this special moment … a link between Webb’s past, present and future. It has already been a great weekend so far, and I look forward to being able to meet many of you now and in conjunction with upcoming Webb events.”
Speaking at the celebration party, Vance Berry, Webb Board of Trustees chair, noted Cheeseman’s vision for Webb and highlighted generous financial support to the school as part of two recent successful comprehensive campaigns, and strong enrollment growth, both in day and boarding students. “We knew we wanted to grow, and are delighted to see how well the three “A’s” have resonated with our community. With more than 400 students this fall – 150 who are boarding students, Webb is in a strong position.”
Jonathon Hawkins, associate director of alumni and development and 150th Committee chair, reflected on the weekend saying, “It has been exciting to see the positive responses from so many alumni, parents and friends, and to feel the energy associated with our 150th Celebration. I'm looking forward to what's next for Webb.”