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Fall-Winter 2019-2020



Spring - Summer 2019

Webb 150

The Webb School Magazine





Raymond S. Broadhead Head of School Joe Iorio Assistant Head of School and Business Manager

PAGES 4-5 Webb 150 Calendar

PAGES 6-14

PAGES 16-19

Webb 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Webb 2170 By Allen M. Steele '77

WEBB COMMUNICATIONS EDITOR: Rita Mitchell Director of Communications DESIGN & LAYOUT: Gayle K. McClanahan Graphic Designer CONTRIBUTORS Alyce Allen Director of Advancement Services Dorothy Elkins Alumni Research Assistant Jonathon Hawkins Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Nichole Jordan Director of Leadership Annual Giving

PAGES 20-21

PAGES 24-27

PAGES 28-30

Michelle Thomas Director of Parent Giving and Donor Relations

3 Generations Share their Stories

Alumni and Friends Socials and Coast to Coast Toasts

Education: A Webb Family Tradition

Matt Wilson Director of Alumni and Development

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

The Webb School Magazine is published biannually in the summer and winter by The Webb School, 319 Webb Road East, Bell Buckle, Tenn. The Webb School is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization: 62-0401875.


The Webb School complies with all applicable anti-discrimination laws and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin in the administration of its educational policies and programs, admissions p r o c e s s e s , s c h o l a r s h i p and financial aid programs, employment practices, athletic and other school administrative programs.

319 Webb Road East Bell Buckle, Tenn. 37020 1-931-389-9322

PAGES 31-41

Fall Recap and Sports

PAGES 43-46

Class Notes




Webb 150: You're Invited! By Ray Broadhead What a first semester this has been! We opened the first day of school with chapel, followed by a special all-school photo of students, faculty, and staff spelling out “150” on Lagler Field. The final product looks wonderful and can be seen on the cover. Note to those who are here for Webb 175: try to pick a day when the temperature at 9:15 a.m. is not already 90 degrees, and the sun is brightly shining while we are being commanded to keep our eyes open! For our collective efforts everyone was rewarded with a special 150 cookie and a cold drink! When we began our work on Webb 150 more than two years ago, we looked for ways for everyone to participate: Celebratory events, promotion of Webb's brand through admissions and marketing, and fundraising to help ensure the financial future of the school. In this issue, please take a look at all of the opportunities for you to be involved.

We have enriched our Follin Speaker Series this year to add more excitement and to honor our history. We have already had several wonderful speakers, and there are many more to come.

Admissions/Development Marketing: If you have not yet done so, please go to our website to view the new videos about various aspects of the school produced by our marketing firm, DVL Seigenthaler/FINN. They are of the highest quality! My particular favorite is the three-minute one where Addie Stanley ’20 talks about finding her voice at Webb. It is fantastic! We have also produced for the first time an online interactive viewbook, which allows a prospective family to explore deeper into Webb in a variety of areas. While all of these videos promote the school, some are geared towards the development of the future of the school. Fundraising: Last April, the Board set a Webb 150 fundraising goal consisting of three parts: Webb Fund, Endowment Gifts, and Burkhead Legacy Society Gifts. The total goal was $4 million, following our successful campaign 2010-2016 "Moving our Tradition Forward." We have had a tremendous response since we began counting donations in January of 2018, and we are asking donors to consider making a gift, pledge or a bequest anytime between now and Dec. 31, 2020 to be part of this campaign. Thank you to the many alumni, parents, and friends who believe in the quality of the education that has been the hallmark of Webb for 150 years. I look forward to seeing you in April!

See the Webb 150 event schedule on pages 4-5 and visit the website for more information. We also invite you to read Webb 150: A Campaign for The Webb School on pages 6-14

The Webb School Magazine

Celebration: The Webb 150 celebration is gaining momentum every day – we have had Alumni and Friends Socials in Louisville, Ky.; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Leesburg, Va.; and Knoxville and Memphis, Tenn. There are many more socials planned for the year ahead. There were several Coast-to-Coast Toasts to honor Sawney Webb’s 177th birthday on Nov. 11. Captain Tate Westbrook ’85 spoke at chapel that day as we also observed Veterans Day. On Nov. 12, alumnae Caitlin Roberts Jennings ’03 and Katherine Foutch Layman ’03 were on hand to help present the 150th graduating class with their senior blazers (see p. 36).

The biggest celebration of Webb 150 will be on campus from Thursday, April 16, through Sunday, April 19. This is a must event for all! The schedule will be full, the campus will be beautiful, and you will have many opportunities to reconnect with classmates, present and retired faculty, and a school that has had an indelible impact on all of us.


in 2020 January

January 7 Chapel Talk: Class of 2019 Alumni Panel January 20 Visitors’ Day January 22 Follin Speaker Series: Dr. John McCardell, Vice Chancellor and President of Sewanee: The University of the South January 30 Nashville, Tenn. Webb 150 Campaign Event January 31 Chapel Talk: Olly Wang ’09 Belles and Buckles Gala

February February 7 February 17

Alumni and Friends Social in Birmingham, Ala. Visitors’ Day

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March TBD March 12 March 18 March 20 March 28

Follin Speaker Series: Dr. Larry Price Memphis, Tenn. Webb 150 Campaign Event Strings Spring Concert Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day Alumni and Friends Social in Los Angeles, Calif.

For calendar updates, visit:


April 16

Community Celebration and Open House sponsored by Shelbyville-Bedford County and Bell Buckle Chambers of Commerce Follin Speaker Series: "Being Sawney: a one-man play" by Carl K. Turner '72 Performance of "The Schoolmaker" play

April 17

Classes Open to All Alumni Chapel Talk: George Pine ’68 and Harrison Beal Performance of "The Schoolmaker" play Reunion Class Parties (off-campus)

April 18 Performance of "The Schoolmaker" play All-Alumni Social with Reunion Awards Program The 150th Party April 19

Special Church Service at Bell Buckle United Methodist Church Follin Speaker Series: "Being Sawney: a one-man play"

April 23

Houston, Texas Webb 150 Campaign Event


The Webb School Magazine

May 2 Follin Speaker Series: Strings Concert with Mark Wood, Guest Electric Violinist May 12 Upper School Book Awards May 14 Senior Luncheon Senior Chapel May 15 Middle School Book Awards 8th Grade Graduation May 23 Baccalaureate Graduation


WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Webb 150:

A Campaign for The Webb School Webb 150 represents a bold step forward, a commitment to our future as we celebrate our storied past. We are guided by a strategic plan inspired by our great history and the educational goals originally espoused by Sawney and John Webb. We recite our mission each week during chapel, and our plans for the future are a renewal of our commitment:

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

“To turn out young people who are tireless workers, and who know how to work effectively; who are accurate scholars; who know the finer points of morals, and practice them in their daily living; who are always courteous...”


As we begin the next chapter in Webb’s history, our direction is clear – we must provide students with an outstanding independent school education that upholds our traditions and prepares them for success as leaders. Our ability to realize this vision depends on resources: human, educational, physical, and financial. To ensure our success, the Board of Trustees has endorsed a $4 M comprehensive campaign as the capstone of our 150th anniversary celebration. We invite you to join us as we affirm our traditions, (such as the declamation below) and pursue an inspiring future for Webb.

WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

A letter from the Chairman of the Board Dear Members of the Webb Community, As chair of the Board of Trustees, I am grateful for the opportunity to introduce Webb 150: A Campaign for The Webb School. Many individuals have worked hard to make the commemoration of this remarkable milestone in Webb’s history. I would especially like to thank the members of the Board, the Development Committee, the Campaign Cabinet, and the staff of the Alumni and Development Office. Last, I want to express my appreciation to Sam Lasseter '69 and Gwen Jones Owen '75, who have graciously agreed to serve as co-chairs for this campaign. Webb 150 has been designed as a comprehensive campaign. This means that all gifts made to the school from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2020, will count towards our $4 million goal. A top priority for this effort is to increase the school’s permanent endowment, which currently stands at just over $34 million and funds more than 15% of Webb’s annual operating budget. The importance of the endowment cannot be overstated. It is arguably – along with our great history and tradition – our greatest asset, providing stability and longevity to the school to which we all owe so much. It is amazing to note that in 1970, at the time of Webb’s centennial, the endowment had not even been created. We have come a long way! When I am asked about impact of Webb 150 and why one might support it, I often reply that it is actually about far more than a number – it is about people and tradition. The Webb School is an extraordinary place, and an extraordinary community. Webb is about forming young minds, and it is about character. It made a true impact on my life, as it did on so many of yours. That is the reason I have stayed connected since I graduated, and that is why I continue to support Webb. It has created a real community – students, alumni, faculty and staff whose lives have been impacted in so many ways by The Webb School. I invite you to read what follows for a snapshot of what we hope to achieve in this campaign, along with various ways in which you might make a gift (one-time, multiyear pledge, transfers of appreciated assets, or estate commitments). The board and I hope you will join us in this important effort. You can make a real difference and guarantee that Webb continues to thrive, providing opportunities to generations to come. Thank you for your consideration, your support of The Webb School – and Webb 150.

Vance Berry '72 P.S. One other thing I would like to point out is the importance of remembering Webb in your estate. To encourage this kind of support, we are counting gift intentions towards our goal. For more information on this easy way to participate in the campaign, please contact Matt Wilson at 931-389-5722 or

The Webb School Magazine



WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Investing in the Webb Experience

Webb remains committed to educating future leaders by providing experiences that enable young people to develop lives of character and integrity. Philanthropy is essential to our ability to deliver on this important commitment, one that is so necessary in today’s world.

In this campaign, we will invest in the Webb experience in three primary ways:


talented students and faculty through named scholarships and chairs. Goal: Establish five or more newly endowed funds totaling $1.5M.


educational opportunities for current students through the Webb Fund. Goal: Reach $1.5M in Webb Fund gifts 2018-2020


the school for success with new memberships in the Burkhead Legacy Society.

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Goal: $1M in new gift intentions confirmed through bequests


We make these investments both from a position of strength, and with a sense of gratitude. During the course of our school’s history, Webb has asked alumni, parents, and the community to step forward to invest in our students, and they have answered the call. This was true after our centennial celebration when the permanent endowment was established. Today, that endowment with a market value of more than $34M, is a critical source of funding for financial aid and investments in our academic programs. As we celebrate our 150th, we again call on our community to step forward in support of our students. Your gift to this campaign will impact today’s students and those for generations to come.

WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Webb’s Endowment and the Campaign Webb’s endowment is both our greatest asset and our greatest commitment to our core values. Gifts to endowment exist in perpetuity and provide a stable source of funding for financial aid and faculty support. Each year, 15 percent of the operating budget comes from income distributions from the endowment (approximately $1.3M - $1.5M). Webb simply cannot be Webb without the resources the endowment provides. We seek to ensure its future by growing the endowment through philanthropy.

As of June 30, 2019, Webb’s total endowment was more than

$34M in invested value.

Its 10-year average annual return, net of fees, is



of the market value of each fund (three-year moving average).

The Webb School Magazine

and the current annual income payout is


WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Campaign Priorities: Scholarships

Scholarships are essential to attract the best students and to provide them with an outstanding Webb experience. For this reason, growing scholarship endowments is the highest priority of the campaign. At Webb, we leverage scholarship dollars to compete for talented students from a broad range of backgrounds. Once a student is selected for admission, scholarship support is often the critical element in the decision to attend Webb. Whether they seek financial aid to bridge the gap between tuition

and what their family can provide, or if a scholarship award based on merit allows a student to choose Webb over another school, we must grow our resources to recruit students whom we know will excel here. Currently, approximately 64 percent of Webb students receive financial aid, and we anticipate that this number will continue to grow as families from all income levels continue to seek assistance as they pursue the best possible education for their children. (pictured - Sarah Beth Smotherman, LaRoche Scholarship recipient)

In this campaign, Webb would like to increase



(3-5 new scholarships). The minimum amount required to establish a named endowed scholarship is

The amount required to establish a full-tuition named boarding scholarship is



Faculty Chairs

The names are etched in our collective memory-Webb, Morgan, Tidwell, Follin, Scott, Lagler-and they are esteemed by those who have carried on our great teaching traditions into the 21st centuryL.R. and Moira Smith, Ralph Jones, and Sandy Truitt.

must also grow our endowment in support of the faculty. Faculty chairs provide Webb with the ability to attract outstanding teachers, retain those in high demand, and ensure our teachers are compensated competitively.

During the past few years, Webb has increased annual faculty salaries an extra 2% a year for three years beyond our annual raises to bring our faculty salaries up to industry, and Webb, standards.

The most recent example of this occurred in 2016 when Webb received a transformational gift by family and friends of Mr. Wilson "Woody" Sims Sr. ’42 to create an endowed chair in World Languages in his honor. Current recipient is Kelly Northrup, pictured below, seated center.

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

To both honor and expand our commitment to great teaching, we


In this campaign, Webb would like to increase

ENDOWED FACULTY CHAIRS The minimum amount required to establish a named endowed faculty chair is

The amount required to establish a fully endowed faculty chair is



WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Grow the Webb Fund Annual support makes an immediate impact at Webb. Annual gifts provide direct funding to educational initiatives not covered by tuition. Gifts to the Webb Fund, which represent 6% of our annual budget, support financial aid, faculty development, and the campus experience. We must grow the Webb Fund each year to both protect our core commitments and enhance the student experience. In support of this initiative, the Webb Fund goals were increased for FY18 and FY19. Every gift to the Webb Fund sends a signal that Webb alumni, parents, and friends are invested in the future of our students. Collectively, the impact of these gifts is remarkable. In this campaign, we seek to continue growing the Webb Fund, reaching $1.5 million in gifts during a three-year period of the campaign 2018-2020.

A new giving level for the Webb Fund, the $1,870 level, has been created in honor of Webb 150: A Campaign for The Webb School.

Expand the Burkhead Legacy Society The Burkhead Legacy Society recognizes those who seek to bond their own legacy with that of our school.

Legacy Society is the culmination of a lifetime of association with Webb.

It is named for Commander Lingurn Burkhead ’21, whose own bequest started Webb’s Legacy Society.

The Burkhead Legacy Society currently includes 75 members. In this campaign we seek to grow the membership of this important society and ultimately raise $1 million in new bequests. In the past 10 years, Webb has received more than 10 estate gifts totaling more than $1.5M.

Donors who make Webb a beneficiary as part of their estate plan are making a special commitment. For many, joining the Burkhead

The Webb School Magazine


WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Webb 150:

A Campaign for The Webb School The vision of past leaders and the generosity of past donors have shaped Webb’s path for 150 years. As we look to the future, driven by a vision crafted by today’s leaders, we seek to secure new commitments to fortify the Webb student experience for this generation and for those to come. Webb has always been and continues to be a special place. It welcomes students from all over the world, demonstrating the tremendous strength in having students from different cultures. Webb’s location in Bell Buckle is an asset, and provides the incredible opportunity of belonging to a real community. The campus is as beautiful as it has ever been. Webb has expanded its curricular offerings, and Webb graduates are prepared to pursue degrees in higher education in a wide range of fields. Whether inspired by the impact made by a Webb teacher, or by the opportunity to make the dream of attending Webb come true, our donors are difference makers. This campaign is an invitation to our vision, as together we seek the best possible future for every Webb student. Join us.



scholarship and faculty chairs (gifts and pledges)



unrestricted and restricted (gifts and pledges)


Fall-Winter 2019-2020



revocable bequests counted at face value

Every gift, multiyear pledge or bequest made between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2020, will count towards the campaign. This is an exciting time for the school, and there are wonderful opportunities at all giving levels for everyone to participate.

WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Webb Strategic Vision Statement • Webb continues to uphold its history and traditions by maintaining a strong commitment to honor, integrity, and character. • Webb is a premier independent day/boarding school. The boarding population is at least 150 students with about 200 day students, with the total enrollment not exceeding 350. • Webb has the resources and facilities to compete for top faculty and students. Through donations and investments, Webb’s endowment grows to $35M by 2022 (it is presently $34M). • The school is composed of a diverse student body that is motivated to learn and values the Webb experience. • The faculty members are engaging, cosmopolitan, intelligent, passionate, inspiring, and committed to their students. • Webb educates the whole student (grades 6-12), emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, and character. Webb cultivates students who compete for and win national scholarships and honors, including the school’s eleventh Rhodes Scholar. • Webb engages all of its stakeholders in recognizing the school’s unique place in education and its powerful vision, and shares talents, connections, and passion as the school community unites and works to achieve this vision.

The Webb School Magazine


WEBB 150: A Campaign for The Webb School

Development Committee

Campaign Cabinet

Sam Lasseter ’69 Trustee Development Committee Chair Webb 150 Campaign Co-Chair

Sam Lasseter ’69 Trustee Development Committee Chair Webb 150 Campaign Co-Chair

Gwen Jones Owen ’75 Former Trustee Webb 150 Campaign Co-Chair

Gwen Jones Owen ’75 Former Trustee Webb 150 Campaign Co-Chair

F. Ed Barker ’57 Trustee

Charles Alexander ’68 Trustee Emeritus

Ben Blakeley ’93 Trustee

Vance Berry ’72 Board of Trustees Chair

Ray Broadhead Head of School (Ex-officio)

Phil Coop ’66 Trustee Emeritus

Hudson Byrd ’05 Vice President of the Alumni Board (Ad hoc) G. Webb Follin III ’73 President of the Alumni Board Bill Hardin ’79 Former Trustee Parent ’15 Claudia Hazelwood Former Director of Alumni and Development Parent ’99 Pat Meadows Trustee Mary Moss Trustee Parent ’09, ’11, ’16

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Lucy Phillips Former Director of Alumni and Development


Tom Cooper ’65 Trustee George Pine ’68 Trustee

Office of Alumni and Development Alyce Allen Director of Advancement Services Dorothy Elkins Alumni Research Assistant Jonathon Hawkins Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Parent '21 Nichole Jordan Director of Leadership Annual Giving

George Pine ’68 Trustee

Gayle McClanahan Graphic Designer Parent '26

Brian Singer ’78 Trustee

Rita Mitchell Director of Communications

Chase Spurlock ’05 Trustee

Michelle Thomas Director of Parent Giving and Donor Relations Parent '25

Davis Turner ’79 and Melora Wilkins Turner ’80 Webb Fund Chairs 2019-2020 (Ad hoc)

Matt Wilson Director of Alumni and Development

Special Speakers are part of commemoration In honor of the 150th Anniversary, the Follin Speaker Series has special guests slated throughout the 2019-2020 school year. Three October speakers launched the series, an endowed program at school. The presentations were free and open to the public.

"Big Sawney" a giant Big Head Puppet featured in area parades for a number of years. White is an Emmy-award-winning set and puppet designer. His wife Mimi Pond, an American cartoonist, comics artist, illustrator, humorist and writer, accompanied him to Webb.

Andrew Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of "Strong Inside," an extensively researched biography of Perry Wallace, was first in the series. Wallace was the first African-American varsity scholarship athlete to play basketball in the Southeastern Conference, playing for Vanderbilt University. Maraniss introduced the book at Webb as a Follin Speaker in April 2019, and "Strong Inside" was selected as The Webb School's Summer 2019 allschool read. In addition to the presentation, Maraniss returned for classroom and small group discussions about the book.

Thompson Webb III, great-grandson of Webb founder, William R. "Sawney" Webb and "family historian," spoke about his family's independent school legacy in a talk entitled "Education: A Webb Family Tradition." In addition to Bell Buckle, family members have founded schools in Knoxville, Tenn., and Claremont, Calif. While at Webb, he also spoke to ethics and environmental science classes. He is a retired professor of Geological Sciences at Brown University. He combined his undergraduate studies in botany with a PhD in atmospheric sciences to study the changing climate since the last ice age, 21,000 years ago. He lives on 45 acres in Seekonk, Mass., where he and his wife Joan host farmers involved in CommunitySponsored Agriculture and where he serves as president of the Seekonk Land Conservation Trust.

Artist and Puppeteer Wayne White returned to Webb for a presentation and to work with his friend Mike Quinn, Webb art teacher, and students in "Big Head Puppet" workshops. In a previous visit several years ago, White led students in the creation of

The Webb School Magazine


WEBB A Science Fiction Story by Allen M. Steele '77


Fall-Winter 2019-2020

By the time The Webb School has reached its three hundredth year, there are two institutions bearing its name.


This is the more famous of the two: aiWebb, the virtual-reality school generated by a 2.5 teraflop DNA-based quantum AI. The school is the combined project of the Webb School Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Webb Schools in Claremont, California, once the site of the school’s West Coast affiliate before the Great Quake. This is The Webb School of 22nd century cyberspace, a place of learning with students and alumni on not only every continent on Earth, but also Luna, Mars, and Ganymede. At any one time, this school has about 25,000 students, sometimes more. Most are in their teens, but a few are in aiWebb’s primary education program while others, those enrolled in adult-education seminars, are as old as 150 e.c. (Earth Calendar), infants when the school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2020. This school, aiWebb, is open twenty-four hours a day, seven standard-days a week, 365 days per Earth-year (these figures vary elsewhere in the solar system). You can access it either through an adaptive neural-net implant called Anni, which requires a prenatal medical procedure and is still uncommon among those older than 25, or by putting on a pair of VR specs and calling up the homescreen menu. Once a biometric scan has checked your identity, you can pull up the course you were taking when you save-and-exited

the last time you were there. You can take lessons by interactive text or audio, of course, but that’s rather dull and old-fashioned. More often than not, students choose the option of having a virtual teacher, an AI avatar who stands before you and verbally delivers a lecture just as if you’re in a classroom. This virtual classroom can be in the Old Big Room, the New Big Room, or even outdoors in the shade of an oak tree. As for the teacher-avatar, you can have Sawney Webb himself, or John Webb, or a notable faculty member from any given era in Webb’s history: Lucas Boyd, Marion Marks, Sandra Truitt, “Rock” Holliman, or Stan Rupley from the 1970’s, for example. These avatars use digital chalk to write sentences or equations on holographic blackboards, the information instantly transferred to the student’s datapad; everything they say can be downloaded and replayed later. These digital mirages are convincingly realistic, occasionally blinking, sneezing, or coughing to clear their throats, and they’ll take questions and answer them just as if they’re living persons. The illusion vanishes, though, the moment you take off the VR specs or blink three times to disengage your Anni. In this way, aiWebb is a fusion of verisimilitude and fantasy, both real and unreal at the same time.

There are nearly one million Webb School graduates scattered across the Solar Coalition. Many have never met another aiWebb student, while others — the selenites of Luna, the aresians of Mars, or the jovians of Ganymede — have never even set foot on Earth. Because aiWebb’s off-campus student body includes many offworlders representing the myriad of new cultures and religions that have come about with colonization of the solar system, the tradition of giving a Bible or another inspirational text to a graduating student has been quietly shelved. The reason most frequently given is the expense of shipping a physical book to one of the outer colonies — it would cost nearly as much as a semester’s tuition to send a Webb Bible to Mars or Ganymede — but questions of sensitivity are the main reason for change. For instance, Article III of the Lunar Republic’s constitution prohibits favoritism of one religion over another, so by law a Bible would have to be accompanied by a Koran, a Torah, and other sacred books.

But this isn’t the ring’s best feature. It can also provide real-time communications with other classmates and former teachers. So graduates don’t have to leave Webb behind; if they choose, the school can always be at hand, literally. If you want to keep in touch with your fellow alumni or a favorite teacher, the ring lets you do

Editor’s Note: Allen Mulherin Steele Jr. '77, became a full-time science fiction writer in 1988, following publication of his first short story, "Live From The Mars Hotel" (Asimov's, mid-Dec. ’88). Since then he has become a prolific author of novels, short stories, and essays and has won numerous awards. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide. Born in Nashville, Tenn., he received his B.A. in Communications from New England College in Henniker, N.H., and his M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Before turning to Science Fiction, he worked as a staff writer for daily and weekly newspapers in Tennessee, Missouri, and Massachusetts, freelanced for business and general-interest magazines in the Northeast, and spent a short tenure as a Washington correspondent, covering politics on Capitol Hill. To read more about the author, visit

The Webb School Magazine

As a consequence, another sort of diploma has taken their place.

The Webb class ring that is now presented to new graduates is also a repository of all the information they absorbed as students during his or her time at the school. No longer does a Webb graduate have to struggle to remember something from a classroom lecture they heard many years ago. A spoken inquiry accompanied by the AI teacher’s name— “ Ms. Truitt, what’s the equation for an isosceles triangle?”; “Dr. Boyd, what were the dates of the French Revolution?” “Mr. Rupley, what is Edgar Allan Poe’s best-known poem?” — retrieves an answer that is fed into a person’s VR specs or Anni implant. The images that appear before them look like vivid hallucinations, and because it can be a bit jarring to have Sawney Webb materialize from nowhere like a ghost, graduates usually access this feature only once or twice.


this. You can block that feature and tell everyone to leave you alone, and some do, but many others like remaining in contact with their classmates. ***** But while aiWebb is a large and well-known virtual school, the other Webb still exists in the physical world. And it, too, has a story to tell. The historic Webb School, the Bell Buckle campus that a student from 19th through the early 21st centuries would immediately recognize, is located in GZ 205, Tennessee Province, North American Union. Green Zone 265 is what was formerly known as Bedford County, Tennessee, before the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba were united and reorganized as the North American Union. Like 1,029 other Green Zones established by the Climate Recovery Act, GZ 265 — colloquially known as the Middle Tennessee GZ — is reserved as a rural area free of urban sprawl. Bell Buckle is near the center of the GZ 265, and there’s just one way to get there. For a relative handful of teenagers, this is the way they come to Webb … not through virtual reality, but in person.

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

Until the second half of 20th century, Webb students usually traveled to Bell Buckle by rail, arriving at the small train station on the town square. Although the CSX railroad continued to carry freight trains through Bedford County, passenger service ceased during the Automobile Age when gasoline-fuel cars were the preferred form of travel. Even before the Climate Recovery Act banned non-electric automobiles, though, railroads were reintroduced as an important form of mass transportation, their revival spurred by the innovation of magnetic-levitation trains and the Transcontinental Hyperloop (TCH, or the “Big T” for short), the real-life “underground railroad” that replaced the interstate highway system in the late 21st century. Across North America, abandoned train stations were refurbished and brought back into service, and one of those included the little depot in Bell Buckle’s town square.


Every September, like the return of migratory birds, Webb’s boarding students make their pilgrimage to Bell Buckle. Shortly after International Labor Day, they board a maglev local from Murfreesboro, just outside the GZ 265. Most have travelled to the Tennessee Province on the Southeast spar of the Big T, but a few landed at Nashville International aboard suborbital scramjets from other parts of the world. And some have come from even further away: Apollo on the Moon, Arisia-Bradbury on Mars, Clarke City on Ganymede. These offworlder students, who’ve arrived on Earth aboard the Ecuador space elevator and then flown to the NAU

and boarded the Big T, often have a hard time acclimating; 1g gravity can be hell if you’ve grown up in 0.6g and are setting foot on Earth for the first time, and even a blue sky can seem vast and frightening if you’ve grown up in an underground metropolis. Yet no matter where they’ve come from, every student new to Webb finds a challenge of his or her own. In fact, that’s why they’re here. Upon disembarking at the White Square depot, new students discover their first challenge: walking up the road to campus. The school has sent an electric tram to collect their trunks and suitcases and carry them to their assigned dorms and cottages, but no one is allowed to climb aboard for a ride, not even offworlders struggling to adapt to Earth. There’s a handful of electric community bicycles parked at the depot, but those are claimed in an instant by returning students who know about them, yet even among the Earth kids there are many who’ve seldom walked more than a quarter of a mile. The conveyor-belt slidewalks and pneumatic tubes that replaced sidewalks and cable elevators in most 22nd century cities have made foot travel unnecessary, with joggers regarded as anachronisms. So the long march up Webb Road to the school campus has become something of an initiation. Like most Green Zone towns, vehicular traffic is strictly limited to bikes and electric carts, so the students are free to walk up the middle of the road, with the offworlder kids pausing about halfway to recharge their gravity-assist exoskeletons. What they see along the way is a small southern town that has changed little over the years. Rooftop solar panels and backyard wind turbines have replaced utility poles and overhead power lines; no automobiles parked in the driveway, only electric scooters and carts. Otherwise, Bell Buckle in 2170 looks very much like it did in 2070 or even 1970. But what astonishes new students the most is just how quiet this place is. Absent is the constant hum of traffic, the occasional scream of a police or ambulance siren, the background noise of cities and suburbs. Until now, many of the students have never heard a cicada, and bird songs are only heard in a nature conservatory. Yet most unnerving of all is the absence of Anni. When the students try to access their neural net implants, they discover that Anni’s pleasant voice has fallen silent. They can no longer ask the AI for help or advice; there’s no omnipresent cybernetic entity to give aid and comfort, to figuratively hold their hands and gently guide them through life. Suddenly, they have to think for themselves, with no invisible voices or ghostly avatars to tell them what to do next. There’s a reason for this: an electronic dampening field surrounding Bell Buckle, an invisible cone that disables all neural-

net implants, networked computers, and cellular equipment within a three-mile radius. For some newly-arrived students, this is startling, irrational, even a bit frightening ... but there’s a reason for it. Like the town, the Webb campus is a place frozen in time. As appearances go, the school has changed little since the mid-21st century, when the drab original Administration Building and homely old Rand Hall were finally torn down and replaced with handsome neo-Southern Gothic edifices that look like they could’ve been built in the late 19th century. The oldest buildings on campus have been preserved and still function, with the Old Big Room rebuilt to match the New Big Room beside it. Here again, new students are frequently surprised. Unlike the VR schools most of them are accustomed to, The Webb School in Bell Buckle is a physical environment, with actual classrooms complete with living teachers. Many new students have never before had a teacher who isn’t an AI hologram. Indeed, at least once every fall semester, a freshman will try to walk through his teacher, only to discover that she or she has collided with a fleshand-blood human being. And there are many other ways in which Webb emulates an older time. While the cottages and dorms are maintained by robots, all they do are vacuum the hallways, cut the grass in the summer and shovel the walkways in the winter. So if the students have always counted on household bots cleaning their rooms and making up their beds, they’re astonished to discover that they’re expected to do these things themselves. Likewise, the meals in the dining hall are prepared by bots, the food is served by students; underclassmen are instructed how to set the tables and clean up once the meal is over. Again, this is a new thing to many, especially those who’ve grown up with ubiquitous bots doing all the monotonous yet essential tasks of daily life.

But the thing that startles newcomers most of all is something that’s been part of Webb School from the beginning: the Honor Code. Before coming to Webb, most students never even heard of such a thing … or needed to, really, since daily life in the 22nd century is one of hidden cameras and omnipresent AIs observing

In keeping with tradition, all students are required to sign the Honor Code at the beginning of the school year, a ceremonial practice held in the Assembly Hall on the first day of class. Some may find quaint or even laughable at first, but they soon learn that it’s to be taken seriously. The dorm rooms and cottages don’t have biometric locks on the doors, the classrooms don’t have AI monitors in the ceiling to watch them as they take tests, and there are no autonomous drones to prevent them from skipping class to go into town. Instead, you’re being trusted to play by the rules, and losing that trust — by both their teachers and by their classmates — is a serious matter. Again for the first time, students new to Webb find themselves in a world quite unlike anything they’ve encountered before. It would be easy to break the rules, to be sure, but you’d pay a high price for doing so; your actions might not get you expelled — indeed, students are rarely thrown out on the first offense, or even the second or third — but Webb becomes a rather cold place if no one there trusts you any more. There’s a rationale for all this, the very reason why parents still send their children to Bell Buckle. In a world where daily life has been altered by AI and everything that came with it, Webb still teaches the most valuable lessons of all: self-reliance, personal integrity, and how to live with people who are unlike yourself. The boy or girl who goes to school in Bell Buckle comes out a young gentleman or lady who’s comfortable with the world. Instead of hiding within a virtual shell, a pitiable sociophobe unable to deal with life as it exists beyond virtual reality, the Webb graduate is able to look someone else in the eye and hold a conversation with them, a rare and valuable skill in the 22nd century. This is why Webb has survived for so long. The virtual aiWebb is one school, and The Webb School in Bell Buckle is another, but both teach the same thing, as the original school has for 300 years. If time travel is ever developed (and, yes, there’s an effort to develop travel through chronospace, but the project is highly classified and very few people know about it) and someone were to bring Sawney Webb from 1870 to 2170, he’d find that, while some things about the school he established are fantastically different, its core values have remained essentially unchanged. As it has in the past, as it is in the present, as it will in the future … Webb endures.

Copyright © 2019 by Coyote Steele LLC

The Webb School Magazine

Classes follow a regular schedule that begins early in the morning and continues through mid-afternoon, with students seated at desks with a teacher as their instructor and discussion leader. Everyone is expected to be in a particular room at a particular time; no one gets to go off by himself or herself, put on a pair of VR specs, and receive their lessons from an AI. The first time a student tries to use a data pad to take notes, they find that, like all their other electronic devices, their pads have been disabled. What works? Pens, pencils, and paper … and if they don’t already know how to use such archaic instruments, remedial after-school instruction is offered.

and policing every action one takes. But the absence of electronic monitoring means that there’s no such surveillance at Webb, so the Honor Code has become more important than ever.


Webb's hallmarks are common thread as three generations of family share stories Editor's Note: Mary Lynne Walker, her daughter Stevie Smoot and granddaughter Eva Pagello (along with several other family members) attended Webb from 1973 through the current school year with Eva a member of the Class of 2025. They each share a story about their experiences at Webb.

Mary Lynne Walker '75, Wartrace, Tenn. Years Attended: 1973-1975 Boarding Student

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

Hometown When Attending Webb: Murfreesboro, Tenn. Other Relatives Who Attended with Class Year: Stevie Smoot '00, Cody Rooks '08 my children, Wade Gaither '92 nephew, Harley Walker '11 and Coleman Walker '13 niece and nephew, Eva Pagello '25 granddaughter, son Zachary '06 attended for three years


Why did you choose to attend Webb? Prior to Webb, I was academically not trying. My parents then decided to send me to Webb, which inspired me to love learning. I started to apply myself and that increased my self-esteem. It was the best decision my parents ever made. I feel fortunate for that decision. Who were some of your Webb mentors, and how were they helpful?

• Janos and Ines Sennyeys whom I lived with part of the time. Mr. Rusty Norvell my English teacher. Mr. John Morgan my geometry teacher. What are 3-4 of your most memorable events/times as a Webb student both inside and outside the classroom? • Taking classes in nature • Lifelong friends • Small class size • Educators that went out of their way to help you achieve What are some of the ways Webb impacted you as a student? • Responsibility, the desire to study, the desire to achieve to further my education What does Webb mean to you today? It is a top-notch college preparatory school, and I like that it teaches

morals, ethics and importance of community service. It is three generations for me as my granddaughter Eva Pagello is in the 7th grade. What advice do you have for today’s Webb students? Absorb all the knowledge that you can. Be a good citizen, and remember the golden rule. Be a part of the solution not the problem. Follow your passions. What are you doing now?

I have been a family nurse practitioner for over 20 years. My daughter Stevie, also a nurse practitioner, and I practice together now in our specialty clinic Murfreesboro BioRenew & IV Infusion Clinic in Murfreesboro, Tenn. We specialize in BioIdentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, nutrition, peptide therapy, IV nutrient infusions and will soon be offering regenerative joint injections with PRP. I also have a Bed and Breakfast, the Walker Inn, in Bell Buckle. I live on a 100-acre farm with my husband Brian, and we farm and have beef cattle. We also enjoy fox hunting, which is a fall-to-spring sport. Most of all I enjoy my grandchildren!

Stevie Smoot '00, Bell Buckle, Tenn. Years Attended Webb: 1994-2000 Day Student Hometown When Attending Webb: Bell Buckle Other Relatives Who Attended with Class Year: Mary Lynne Walker '75, Cody Rooks '08, Coleman Walker '13, Harley Walker '11, Wade Gaither '92, and last but not least my daughter Eva '25 is a 7th grader and attending her second year at Webb Why did you choose to attend Webb? Attending Webb was a family tradition, and I always knew I wanted to attend. I never considered going elsewhere. Who were some of your Webb mentors, and how were they helpful? I received the art award in seventh and eighth grade from Ms. Sue Woods. She inspired me to use my creativity, which has carried with me throughout my life in all aspects. Along with being a provider, I am also in charge of all of the marketing for our clinic, which helps feed my creative side. Another teacher who inspired me was Mr. Ralph Jones. I remember sitting in his world religions class and a lightbulb going off. There were so many other cultures and belief systems that shape human behavior, and it was fascinating. It inspired a lifelong curiosity of the human condition and what it means to be alive.

What are 3-4 of your most memorable events/times as a Webb student both inside and outside the classroom? • My first day in Mr. Imre Lagler's Latin class in seventh grade, he pronounced by name SteWie and despite my efforts, continued to do so all year. • I was always fond of all of Mr. Brian Wofford's outdoor camping trips from middle school overnight trips to Senior Survival on the Appalachian Trail. • I met one of my lifelong friends, Julie Vandenbos Battiste in eighth grade at Webb. She was a boarder and became part of our extended family. We went on many family trips together including ski trips to Breckenridge, Colo. What are some of the ways Webb impacted you as a student? Webb inspired me to never stop learning, to be a lifelong student. I live by this daily! I am constantly reading research on new medical treatments particularly in the field of regenerative and functional medicine, attending conferences and connecting with healthcare professionals from various backgrounds. We can all learn from each other. This has allowed me to offer new therapies to my patients that might not be offered at traditional medical clinics. An exciting new area of research is in the area of peptide therapies and stem cell therapies, which we have started offering at our clinic. Continued on Page 42

Years Attended: 2018-2019 Day Student Hometown When Attending Webb: Bell Buckle, Tenn.

Why did you choose to attend Webb? I chose to attend Webb because of its diversity and the very large library.

Other Relatives Who Attended with Class Year: My mom Stevie Smoot '00, my grandmother Mary Lynne Walker '75, my uncle Cody Rooks, '08, my cousins Harley Walker '11, Coleman Walker '13, and Wade Gaither '92.

Who are some of your Webb mentors, and how were they helpful? My advisor, Ms. (Jacquelyn) Boyanton, who helped me with my declamation. All of my teachers have been very helpful. Continued on Page 42

The Webb School Magazine

Eva Pagello '25, Bell Buckle, Tenn.



Fall-Winter 2019-2020

Sweet as Pie

93-year-old Dorothy Elkins made a $2,000 chocolate meringue pie Story and photos reprinted with permission from The Tennessean By Brad Schmitt, Nashville Tennessean - Inside Nashville Tennesseean Photos by Shelley Mays

About 20 years or so ago, Dorothy Elkins got a recipe for chocolate meringue pie from one of her coworkers at The Webb School, a private boarding school for grades 6 through 12. So she went home and made the pie. She liked it. And she thought others might, too. That Christmas, Elkins made one of her friends a chocolate pie. Her friend liked it. So Elkins started making them for other people, too. Lots of them. Last Christmas season, Elkins, 93, made and delivered 32 pies. Her pies became so popular that one sold for $2,370 at last year’s annual fundraiser for The Webb School.

the crust a little before you fill it,” she advised during a demonstration at her quaint Bell Buckle home. The house is filled with gifts of appreciation from The Webb School and pictures of her husband, fellow Bell Buckle native James Elkins, who died in 2009. He was two years older than she, and as a teenager, he headed off to work in an airplane factory in Maryland during World War II. When James Elkins came back to visit Bell Buckle High School afterward Dorothy Elkins was a junior - he caught her eye. “He had on a white shirt and tie and blazer and had a mustache, and he was pretty good looking,” Dorothy Elkins said with a grin. “And that’s when we got together.”

Elkins smiled and shook her head at the idea one of her pies fetched such a high price.

“I put half a stick of butter… “... in an iron skillet and put my mixture into it. That’s what makes it good, I’m sure,” Elkins said.

“They’re not that good,” she said in her soft southern drawl. “People just like the school.

Elkins guessed she spends about $3 for the ingredients for each pie.

“And I think it’s great for Webb School because I love Webb School.” The Webb School - turning 150 years old in a few months - loves her too. The board even named the student center building after her two years ago. The away-from-home mom Elkins works there half-time (she’s at The Webb School for a week and takes off the next) in the development office. She meets with potential donors, and the school put her face on Christmas cards sent to all alumni. It makes sense because Elkins, who has worked there continuously since 1956, knows and remembers many of the students she meets. And they remember her.

“I’ve never had a wreck,” she had smiling. “That’s pretty good.” “You have to not leave any space… “ or anywhere,” Elkins said while spreading the meringue on top of the pie. “If you do, they call it bleeding. You have to be sure it’s all closed up.” Chocolate is her favorite kind of pie, always has been. “I do like pecan rather well,” she said, “but I can’t (eat) nuts anymore.” Elkins said she’ll continue to make pies as long as she’s able. Her next chance to raise thousands of dollars with her pies comes soon.

“They used to come to my office and talk with me,” she said.

The next annual fundraiser, the Webb School Parents’ Association Belles and Buckles Gala, is Jan. 31 at The View at Fountains in Murfreesboro.

“One student especially was homesick in the early 1970s and he came to see me every day. We still keep in touch because I was so kind to him.”

Elkins also said she’ll keep working at the school as long as she’s able, a gig that started after her cousin, Sybil Steiner, a secretary at the school, asked Elkins to come help out there for two or three weeks.

Coworkers are just as enamored with Elkins.

“Nobody ever told me to leave, and I loved it, so I’m still there.”

“You have to take a fork and punch holes…” “ the pie shell, because if you don’t, it has a tendency to rise up. Cook

Reach Brad Schmitt at or 615-259-8384 or on twitter@bradschmitt.

The Webb School Magazine

In fact, Elkins became a mom-away-from-home for dozens of boarding students who showed up homesick at the school.

She gets them from the Kroger in Shelbyville, about 12 miles away and she still drives herself there.


Alumni and friends gather to celebrate 150th at socials across country

Louisville, Ky., Sept. 4, 2019 Webb 150's first Alumni and Friends Social celebrating the school's 150th anniversary was recently held in Louisville, Ky. Hosted by Rhea Hyatt '07, assistant director of admissions, at Gravely Brewing Co., attendees included Sallie Jacobs Stevens '87, Bennett Eng '18, David and McCall Eng, Marget Sikes, director of Webb's LIFT program, Jessica Miller Shea '06 and daughter, Alice.

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

Chicago, Ill., Oct. 5, 2019


The Chicagoland Alumni and Friends Social celebrating 150 years of Webb was recently held at Birch Road Cellar in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Hosted by alumnus Reid Gillam '00 and Jonathon Hawkins, director of alumni relations and annual giving, attendees included Board of Trust member Drew Carrington '83 and Marcy Carrington, Nathaniel Robinson '00 and Lisa Searing, Camille Grubbs, David Tang '94, Jenn Klein '04, Webb’s Middle School Head Tabetha Sullens '94, Mandy Byars, and Carrie Auwarter, director of boarding admissions and financial aid. While in the area, Hawkins also visited with Barbara Grobicki '86 and Wesley LeBlanc '00 and Auwarter attended two private school admissions fairs.

Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 4, 2019 Rhea Hyatt '07, assistant director of admissions, recently hosted an Alumni and Friends Social in Charlotte, N.C., at Sophia's Lounge at The Ivey's Hotel. Attendees included Beth Hardin, Jerry Zacharias '00, Hollie Sheets and John K. Odell '68. While traveling in Charlotte, Hyatt also visited with alumna Anne Bragg Warren '96 and attended school fairs at Trinity Episcopal School and Charlotte Prep School.

Leesburg, Va., Oct. 12, 2019 Dr. Eric Forsbergh '68 and Yvonne Forsbergh recently co-hosted a Webb 150 Alumni and Friends Social at the Lightfoot Restaurant in Leesburg, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C. Joined by Jonathon Hawkins from The Webb School’s Alumni & Development Office, additional guests included Bill Abernathy '72, Mike Guidry '75, Tuck Hord '77, Scott Arnold '92 and Fawn Jackson, Chufeng Huang '01 and Susie Dyer Kane '03. While in the D.C. area, Hawkins also visited with alumnus Mintaro Oba '09.

Memphis, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2019

Knoxville, Tenn., Oct. 16, 2019 Amy Norris, assistant director of admissions, recently hosted an Alumni and Friends Social in Knoxville, Tenn., at Abridged Beer Company & Brewpub. Attendees included Brent '71 and Nancy Alexander, Caroline Cooper '18, Brian Elton '95, Larry and Mariana Gaudet, Raymond Gaudet '99, George Johnson '11, Zach Norris '14 and Anna Adcock, and Alexander '18 and Emma-Grace '18 Weitzman.

A special Alumni and Friends Social and an After-Party were recently held in Memphis, Tenn. in celebration of The Webb School's 150th anniversary. Hosted by alumna Farrar Vaughan '95 at her business Jaguar Land Rover Bluff City and by alumni Caroline Smith Pryor '11 and Ryan Pryor '12 at their home, attendees included: Director of Alumni and Development Matt Wilson, George Callow '70, Bailey Haile '09, Dalton Stanley, Ryan Pryor '12, Caroline Smith Pyror '11, Bette Callow, Director of Enrollment Management Julie Harris '95, Sarada Tilton'12, Paul McDonnell '74, Farrar Vaughan '95, Rob Vaughan, Ray Gill '69, Norman Wilkes '77, Susan Wilkes, Head of School Ray Broadhead, Keith Barton '75, Smith Murphey IV '55, Sylvia Murphey, Peter Claverie '55, Kaleb Tilton '12, Gwen Owen '75, Penn Owen, Johnny Earnest '93 and Jessica Earnest.

The Webb School Magazine


Coast to Coast Toast On Nov. 11, Webb family in Bell Buckle and across the country joined in celebrating our founder’s birthday as well as the school’s 150th anniversary with a Coast to Coast Toast. They attended one of our official toasts or lifted a glass with family and friends at home. Here are a few of the Toast photos.

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

Bell Buckle On-Campus Faculty/Staff Event - From left, front row, Ralph Jones, Erin McMahon '09, Sandy Truitt, Julie Verdoni, Ray Broadhead; back row, Mike Quinn, John Newman '09, Ruth Cordell, Rhea Hyatt '07, Lea Anne Windham, Joe Iorio, Jacqueline Boyanton, Larry Foulk, Daiva Berzinskas, Melissa James, Chadd Bridwell, Dorothy Elkins, Elyse Jensen '11, Marget Sikes, Michelle Thomas, Nicole Taucare, Michael Stem, Raymond Pryor and Matt Wilson.


Shanghai Alumni Board Members and Webb Fund CoChairs Melora Wilkins Turner '80 and Davis Turner '79 celebrated Webb on their vacation in China. Here they are pictured in Shanghai raising a glass to Webb.

Berea Siree McRady '18 and friends celebrating at Berea College in Berea, Ky.

Bell Buckle Rhea Hyatt '07 pictured here celebrating with alumnus Zac Rooks '06 and Webb faculty Michael Stem, Mallory Garcia and Scott Persichetti. Chattanooga Mandy Heck Suttles '96 hosted Chattanooga, Tenn., area alumni and friends at Terminal Brewhouse for a relaxed evening of good food, drink and conversation. Attending from left: (front row) Brianna Wofford Taylor '11, Amanda Wofford '09, Radhika Shah, Rohan Shah '00 and Julia Crunk; (back row) Jonathon Hawkins, Brandon Taylor, Earl Hereford '60, Bill Crunk, Mandy Heck Suttles '96, Isaac Williams '18 and R.L. Williams '56.

Carmel David Phillips '66 hosted a small gathering of alumni at his business, Sugar Creek Winery, in Carmel, Ind. From left: Lynn Ducat '94, Alan Ruanto '94, David Phillips '66 and Stephen Peters '73.

Murfreesboro Alumni Board Member Libby Willis '80 celebrated in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with her son Evan Willis '14 and friend Keith Elliott '14.

The Webb School Magazine

La Jolla Former Webb faculty member Lyle Hampton hosted a small group of alumni and their family at White Sands in La Jolla, Calif. Pictured from left: Kat Woronowicz Johnson '97, Lyle Hampton, Amanda Vaughn Bonham '98, Michael Bonham and Philip Bonham.


Education: A Webb Family Tradition By Thompson Webb III, great-grandson of Sawney Webb

Editor's Note: Thompson Webb delivered a portion of the remarks as a Follin Speaker Series participant in October. (Pictured on page 15)

I have always loved the quote:

“I teach, I am in touch with the future.” I love thinking about Old Sawney looking in this morning and smiling at this fulfillment of that statement. He taught and then created a school in which others could teach and through the efforts of himself and some of those others including family members, here we all are in a setting where a love of learning and teaching continues and you have become part of the future touched by Sawney.

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

The trouble is that Sawney and his brother John did too good a job in inducing a spirit for teaching and learning among their descendants. I have the challenge in my twenty-minute talk of describing briefly over twenty-four family members who followed Sawney and John in becoming educators. Of John’s four children who lived to be adults, two were educators or married educators and four related to him became professors. For Sawney, four of his eight children became educators or married educators and 21 family members were or are educators. The human chain of teachers and educators extends through the generations.


In particular for me, this is the school where my grandfather, Thompson Webb, the youngest of Sawney and Emma’s eight children, was taught. He then founded his own Webb School in Claremont, California, in 1922, and there was where my father, Thompson Webb, Jr., was taught after going to the Little School that my grandmother Vivian Webb founded and ran for a few years. Dad then became my nonclassroom teacher of such activities as the tying of knots in Boy Scouts and learning to sail, row, and paddle boats and my mentor on how to be a father. My own teaching began when I served

as a canoe counselor at my Uncle Bill Webb’s summer camp school in 1962. I then taught at both the University of Wisconsin when in graduate school before teaching for almost 40 years as a professor at Brown University including summertime teaching of middle school students after I retired in 2006. Sawney himself used to tell the story of Little Brown Jug with his urging the listeners to “Pedigree your ancestors.” In my case, I can already claim to be of good pedigree given Sawney among my ancestors. And to note that he was of good ancestry with Richard Stanford (1767-1816) as his grandfather, who was a schoolteacher in Orange County, N.C, before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the first Congress for our country in 1797. Next in line is Sawney’s father, Alexander Smith Webb, a farmer who so valued education that he moved his large family to Oaks, N.C., in the 1840s so that Sawney and his younger brother John and others in the family could go to the Bingham School, which served as a model to Sawney in setting up his own school in 1870 in Culleoka. Sawney’s college education at the University of North Carolina was interrupted by his service in the Civil War but while recovering from injuries in 1863 he excelled in an algebra class, which a few years later led to his being recommended for a teaching post at the Horner School, which initiated him into teaching. He used some of his earnings to sponsor the education of his younger brother John, who was thoroughly trained in Latin and Greek at UNC; and then, soon after Sawney founded this school, he hired John to be his master teacher and co-principal

in 1873. What that then sets up for me as a Webb with Alexander Smith Webb as a common ancestor for both Sawney and John, is to trace the Webb Family’s legacy in education in both the descendants of John Webb and those of Sawney Webb. And I am going to start with John Webb’s children and grandchildren first before moving on to all the educators among Sawney’s descendants. John Webb and his wife, Lily Shipp Webb, start off of good pedigree in education not just because of Richard Stanford, John’s grandfather, but also because of Lily Shipp Webb’s father, Albert Micajah Shipp, who graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1840, became a Methodist minister and then president of Greensborough female college from 1847 to 1849, where 13 years later Sawney’s sister Adeline and his future wife Emma Clary were educated. He moved on to being a professor of history and French at the University of North Carolina before taking over as president of Wofford College in South Carolina from 1859 to 1874, and then in the 1880s became the chancellor at Vanderbilt. He stands out as a prominent educator in the latter half of the 19th century. John and Lily’s oldest son, Albert Webb, attended Webb School but graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover (just as Sawney’s Son Will had done) before doing his undergrad and graduate work at Yale in French and becoming a much esteemed Professor of Romance Languages at Duke University from 1903 to 1947. His son John Maurice Webb II, earned a PhD in American History and rose through the ranks at University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, from 1946 to 1980 to serve as a much revered dean there.

The educational legacy among John’s descendants, his son-in-law, and the brother of his son-in-law was, therefore, at the university level with professors at Duke, Yale, Vanderbilt, and the University of the South. When we move to Sawney’s descendants, the first thing to honor

librarian broadens the work qualifying as part of the educational legacy. She shows the love of books that was so central to Sawney and John, who in 1886 bought $8,000-worth of books out of the $12,000 that the town of Bell Buckle gave them to build a new school here. She is the first of four librarians in our family. But what stands out most among Sawney’s children and grandchildren is a devotion to the spirit of education as teachers and publishers and also as leaders of schools. Son Will taught here and then took over as co-principal in 1908 before becoming the sole principal in 1926 of this school and served as such until retiring in 1952. A former student once introduced him by saying, “There is a spirit about the man. It’s a greatness he inherited from his father and his Uncle John. There’s respect and there’s a love, but more than all these things there’s a sense of indebtedness we feel toward William Robert Webb, Jr. as a teacher.” My grandfather, Thompson Webb, caught the spirit while a student and later a teacher here and became the first of three of Sawney’s descendants to found a new school when he started the Webb School of California in 1922 in Claremont. Bob Webb, Sawney’s grandson, who graduated from this school and caught

The Webb School Magazine

As if that were not legacy enough, Mary Gillespie Webb, the oldest of John and Lily’s three daughters became the wife of Stewart Mims, who had graduated from Webb and became a Professor of History at Yale. And as if that he weren’t distinguished enough, his older brother Edwin Mims, was a professor and chair of English at Vanderbilt from 1912-1942 and before that taught my grandfather, Thompson Webb, at the University of North Carolina, where he supervised my grandfather’s senior thesis on the influence of the French Revolution on Byron and Shelly. Edwin is best known for teaching and inspiring important writers of the South including Robert Penn Warren and took a courageous public stand against lynching in the 1920s at the time of the revival of the KKK. He stood up for his beliefs just as Sawney had done. Like his brother, Stewart, Edwin went to and graduated from The Webb School.

is his providing a college education for all eight of his children including all four daughters, who went to Randolph Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, which today is coed and renamed Randolph College. In the late 19th century, women’s education was not as highly valued as it is today, and he was ahead of his time in sending all of his daughters to college. His oldest daughter, Alla, then trained and became a librarian, and his two youngest daughters, Susan and Emma, both took classes after college at the Chicago Art Institute. Sawney supported their education beyond the undergraduate level, and Alla’s becoming a


the spirit, founded the Webb School of Knoxville in 1955, and my Uncle Howell Webb, one of my father’s brothers who taught Latin here before World War II, caught the spirit and founded Foothill Country Day School in Claremont in 1954, which covers grades kindergarten to 8th grade in contrast to the high school grades at the other schools. Another of my uncles, my Uncle Bill Webb served as headmaster at both the Catalina School and also at the Dunn School in California. My father, who taught at Andover and the Catalina School before serving in the Navy during WWII, opted out of becoming a headmaster but ended up a university administrator by becoming the director of the University of Wisconsin Press. By publishing books, he joins Alla and the other librarians in making books available for teaching. Others in the family who caught the spirit pursued careers in teaching and research. For example, Sawney’s grandson, Edward Price, Jr., earned a PhD at the University of California in Berkeley and became a Professor of Geography at the University of Oregon. He is the son of Susan Webb Price and Edward Price, who graduated from this school, and then after teaching here Edward, having caught the spirit, founded the Price-Webb School in 1912 in Lewisburg, Tennessee, with Sawney as an advisor. His school unfortunately burned down in about 1923. That led him to move his family out to Claremont, California, where he became the “John Webb” of my grandfather’s school with his expertise in Latin. His grandson and Sawney’s great-grandson, Larry Price, the son of geography professor Ed Price, Jr., obtained his PhD in Physics and will be giving you a Follin Lecture later this year describing some

of the research at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, near Geneva, Switzerland. And his son Matthew Price and his wife, Sarah Alt, are high school teachers. Another of Sawney’s great grandsons, Dugald Owen, teaches philosophy at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and is an ardent birder who taught me how to identify some new birds this spring when he visited in Massachusetts. He is a grandson of Sawney and Emma’s youngest daughter, Emma Webb McLean, whose husband, McDugald McLean, was a Webb grad and as a doctor studied tuberculosis and wrote a book on the topic. Yet another great-grandson, Sawney David Webb, the grandson of Sawney and Emma’s son John Stanford Webb, went to the Webb School in California and was inspired to study fossils by Ray Alf, a biology teacher there. David earned a PhD in Vertebrate Paleontology from the University of California and then from 1964 to 2004 was a professor at the University of Florida and a Curator in the Florida State Museum, where his cheerful enthusiastic teaching inspired many students. Surging ahead today as an educator is one of Sawney’s great-great-grandchildren, Katie Ries, who has caught the spirit and joined in the legacy as an associate professor of art at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. Her father, Dr. Russell Ries, is a professor in the Medical School at Vanderbilt University. Like Larry, Dugald, and David, I too am a great-grandson of Sawney and Emma, who as you might imagine grew up with wonderful encouragement in the family for my educational interests. I was lucky enough to be sponsored by my grandparents

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Family Members of William Robert “Sawney” Webb (1842-1926) & Emma Clary Webb (1846-1937) Who Became Educators


1. William Robert “Will” Webb, Jr. (1874-1960) & Louise Manning Webb (1872-1958) 2. Alla Delphia Webb (1875-1944) 3. John Stanford Webb (1877-1951) & Eva Mae Bowen Webb (1874-1958) a. Sawney Ben Webb (1910-1971) & Florence Clewett (1912-2001) i. Sawney David Webb (1936-2019) & Barbara Weinstein (1943-) 4. Adeline Webb (1879-1968) & Josiah Sibley (1877-1963) m. 1906 5. Daniel Clary Webb (1881-1954) & Hannah Julia McCulley Webb (1891-1976) a. William Robert “Bob” Webb III (1919-2005) & Mary Julia “Julie” Dossett (1926-) i. Susan Hunter “Susie” Webb (1953-) & William Russell Ries (1953-) 1. Katie Ries (1981-) & Stephen Martin (1975-) m. 2009 6. Susan Webb (1882-1980) & Edward T. Price (1883-1972) a. Edward T. Price, Jr. (1915-2012) & Margaret Muckleston Price (1917-1997) i. Laurence Price (1943-) & Sandy Wheat (1943-2009) 1. Matthew Price (1971-) & Sarah Alt (1973-) 7. Emma Webb (1884-1973) & McDugald Keener McLean (1886-1922) a. Suzanne McLean (1918-2008) & Robert Owen (1919-1982) i. Dugald Owen (1950-) 8. Thompson Webb (1887-1975) & Vivian Howell Webb (1894-1971) a. Thompson Webb, Jr. (1917-1998) & Diana Stimson Webb (1919-2009) i. Thompson Webb III (1944-) & Joan Moscovitch Webb (1944-) 1. Sarah Webb Inoue (1972-) & Keisuke Inoue (1974-) b. Howell Webb (1918-1993) & Betty Ann Docker Webb (1920-2018) c. William Robert “Bill” Webb IV (1921-2010) & Doree Fleming (1926-1992) d. John Lambuth “Jack” Webb (1923-2009) & Chieko Sakai (1929-2015)

Continued on Page 42

Fall Recap Getting ready for the 150th year!

Webb began its 150th school year on Aug. 12 with a total of 317 students. The student body represents 18 different countries and 12 U.S. states. There were 91 new students enrolled for the 2019-2020 school year. Students, faculty and staff assembled in a 150 configuration on the football field for a drone photo and drone video to celebrate.

Stanley, Wang named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

“This is a great honor for Addie and Tiger, and very well-deserved. They are both not only scholars, but also contribute a great deal to

the school. Being a merit semifinalist will open many doors for both of them in the college admissions process," said Head of School Ray Broadhead. “I am very thankful for both the amazing Webb community as well as my supportive family for pushing me to be my best. Being a National Merit Semifinalist is such an honor, and I cannot wait to see what opportunities it brings,” Stanley said. Wang added, "I'm tremendously honored to receive semifinalist standing in the National Merit Scholarship Program. I hope to use this opportunity to the fullest in my college process. I want to thank my family, friends, and all the faculty and staff at Webb for getting me this far."

The Webb School Magazine

Two seniors, Adelia Stanley and Jiahua “Tiger” Wang, were named as National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists. This year is the 65th year of the National Merit Scholarship Program. Stanley of McMinnville and Wang of Bell Buckle are among the top 1 percent of 20192020 U.S. high school seniors to achieve the semifinalist distinction. A total of 16,000 semifinalists were named for the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are eligible to continue in the competition and to vie for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $31 million that will be offered next spring.



Student's essay results in teacher as TN Lottery Educator of the Week Jonathan Chicken, a history faculty member, was recently selected as a Tennessee Lottery Corporation "Educator of the Week" award recipient. He was nominated by one of his students and appeared in a Nashville News 2 Spotlight in October. The spotlight was filmed in his classroom on campus Oct. 5 after the award announcement. He was then eligible, along with other Educators of the Week from across the state, for "Educator of the Month," an award determined by public voting for several weeks.

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Finn presents at gifted and talented youth joint conference


Finn with the published curriculum unit he co-authored

English teacher Kevin Finn recently presented at a joint conference between the Tennessee Association for the Gifted (TAG) and Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth (PTY) on Vanderbilt campus. The Sky’s the Limit: Reaching New Heights in Gifted Education had more than 160 educators from across the state in attendance. These attendees learned about meeting the needs of advanced students. Finn was chosen to deliver two breakout sessions at the conference. He presented on developing literacy analysis skills and abstract thinking in middle school ELA classrooms as well as on developing concept-driven units.

Little, Fritz have conference roles Library Director Hannah Little and Circulation and Technology Librarian Vickie Fritz had special roles at the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL) Conference “Dare to Imagine” in the fall. Little was a guest panelist for a “Path to TASL Leadership” Q&A panel. Fritz co-presented "FanFic 101” with past TASL president Misti Jenkins, Blackman High School librarian.

Mitchell honored with 2019 Faculty Enrichment Award; service awards presented Jeff Mitchell, with 14 years as a math teacher and coach, was recognized by The Webb School Parents' Association with the 2019 WSPA Faculty Enrichment Award. Denise Ledbetter, WSPA president, presented the award at the opening of school recognition dinner in August. The Faculty Enrichment Award is presented annually to an outstanding member of the teaching faculty who has taught at The Webb School for at least three years. Students and families cast votes to select the recipient. Mitchell, a resident of Wartrace, said, "I appreciate the school most of all; this is a great place to teach and a great place for the kids to learn. I am proud to say that I’ve been able to work at Webb the majority of my career.” He added, “After all these years, it is still fun to witness the growth kids make in the classroom and athletics.” Mitchell teaches middle school math and Algebra 1 and formerly served as director of athletics. He coaches varsity golf and varsity boys’ basketball. Several other awards were presented at the annual event by Ray Broadhead, head of school. Those recognized and their number of service years included Sandy Truitt-math teacher and Harold Bennett-maintenance/carpenter; 45 years; Susan Howell-archivist; Joe Iorio-assistant head of school and business manager; and Lea Anne Windham-math teacher, 25 years; Allen Hunt-physical plant co-director and Mike Quinn-art teacher, 20 years; Micky Donovan-registrar and Scott Dorsett, director of athletics, 10 years; and Ben Beasley-Sage Dining Service staff, Jena Jones-assistant director of athletics and Lloyd Warren-bus driver, five years.


Webb students' tutoring returns to Cascade Middle School A tutoring program sponsored by Webb at Cascade Middle School for a number of years returned for the 2019-2020 school year. The partnership provides community service for Webb students while building camaraderie with the neighboring school and its students. The program is being coordinated by Tabetha Sullens, middle school head; Chadd Bridwell, director of college counseling; and Jon Bloom, dean of residential life. Each Tuesday and Thursday, Webb upper school students are transported to and from Webb to Cascade by Jodi Campbell,

history teacher, and Jonathan Chicken, history department chair, to provide tutoring in mathematics, science and English. The selected students were chosen because of their academic abilities, character and willingness to give back to the community. Tutors include Ruth Smith, Caleb Voorhes-Fontenot, Roger Xu, Firuz Khamidov, Nancy Shi, Nicky Dai, Alan Yang, Tiger Wang, Justin Zhu, Chaney McKnight, Feynman Liu, Steven Wu, Caroline Gu, Vivian Sun, Andrew Turner, Lily Walker, Hazel Song, Nicole Delcheva, Kevin Do and Cedric Vu.

"The Tragedy of Hamlet" is Webb Company Players Fall Play

The Webb School Theatre presented "The Tragedy of Hamlet – The Prince of Denmark" in the Black Box Studio Theatre of the Lundin Fine Arts Center in November.

Ledbetter attends National Youth Leadership Forum

“I decided to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum because I thought it was a great idea to learn new skills about being a leader, and I was excited to get the chance to meet other young people who had different ideas than I do,” Ledbetter said. “Mrs.

(Susan) Mullen nominated me, and I would like to thank her because I got the opportunity to learn and meet new people.” Ledbetter from Chapel Hill explained that the focus of NYFL is to teach young people to use their leadership skills in ways that “we would not think of, and we learned to work with others.” Speakers from all types of professions and careers are also part of the conference.

The Webb School Magazine

Drew Ledbetter, a ninth grader, joined the ranks of Webb students attending the National Youth Leadership Forum during the summer. The conference was held at the national 4-H Conference and Convention Center in Washington, D.C.



Northrup presented Sims Chair in World Languages The Webb School recently honored a faculty member, Kelly Northrup, with the Wilson "Woody" Sims, Sr. Endowed Chair in World Languages, one of three endowed chairs at Webb. Members of the Northrup family and other guests joined Webb faculty, staff and students at the presentation. "This endowment honors a man who has been involved with The Webb School for more than 80 years." said Head of School Ray Broadhead. "A member of the class of 1942, Wilson "Woody" Sims, Sr. has also served as a trustee or trustee emeritus since 1952. His son, Wilson Jr., current trustee, class of 1972, wanted to honor his dad, and all that his father has done for The Webb School, in a permanent manner. Wilson personally spent countless hours talking with relatives, friends of Woody, and Webb graduates to consider donations to honor his father."

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The head of school explained that income from this endowment enhances Webb in three critical ways. It supports the annual salary of the holder. Through a stipend, it enables the holder to engage in summer study or travel, and to attend conferences during the year. The holder of the chair also manages a fund to support academic enrichment activities for the World Languages Department.


Broadhead introduced Northrup saying, "Originally from West Virginia, she completed her undergraduate work at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, earning a BA in Classics and a BS in Mathematics. At her commencement, she earned the Boeshore Prize for excellence in Latin and Greek and was recognized as valedictorian of her class. She then went to Indiana University to complete her Masters of Arts in Teaching degree. At IU, she was recognized as the Student Teacher of the Year and wrote her thesis on Hadrian's Villa. Following a brief sabbatical position at Knox College in Illinois, she came to Webb, and has been with us ever since. "At Webb, Ms. Northrup has taught Latin of all levels from 7th grade introductory Latin through AP. Her engaging lessons weave together language analysis and literature with material culture and archaeology, and she is meticulously organized. Her care and

concern for her students is evident in all that she does," he added. "Outside the classroom, she has worked in the Residential Program as Rand Dorm head for 10 years. As the co-faculty advisor to Student Council, an instructor in the Residential Life Forum program, and the chair of the Character Committee, she is committed to promoting a positive school environment where students learn to recognize and cultivate their strengths and are encouraged to make their school experience the best it can be. Finally, she is a faculty member of the Cum Laude Society and has twice served on the accreditation committee, working tirelessly to ensure that we made it to our 150th year as an accredited school." He closed by adding, "During her time at Webb, Ms. Northrup has also continued her own learning and helped to further the field of classics education. She has studied in Italy twice, once with the famed Vatican Secretary Reginald Foster, and once with the Vergilian Society, and she has presented at multiple conferences, including at the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages. As a consultant for Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, she has piloted software, led webinars, and assisted in textbook editing. Her commitment to her field is commendable." "I'm very grateful to the Sims family for endowing this chair," Northrup said. "We live in a country where World Languages are considered a "non-essential subject," so you can guess where that puts a dead language in a lot of places. The Sims Family's gift shows that they understand the true importance of World Language study and its essential role in being a well-educated person. I'm also grateful to Webb for choosing me to receive this chair. Given that I am following in the footsteps of my mentor, (the late) Moira Judas Smith, to receive this chair, I feel incredibly honored. "I think it is appropriate to say that I am here because of the people who taught me. I have been fortunate and privileged to be instructed by great minds and kind people. My parents, from my earliest days, told me that I could do anything I wanted to, and they would find a way to pay for it. She also expressed appreciation to high school teachers and college professors, her Webb students, closing with thanks to her Webb colleagues - Smith, Mallory Garcia, L.R. Smith, Janet Linton, Jason Simpson and to her husband, "Jonathan Chicken - heart of my heart, ... - thank you. "My teachers - all of them - are accurate scholars, tireless workers, people of personal integrity, and relentless inspirers and supporters. Thus, I feel very proud to stand here today, because it means that Webb sees in me what I have learned from all of them, and finds it honorable. I hope to live up to that example."


Edwards receives second Excellence Award in continued math education Tonya Edwards, a geometry and AP calculus AB teacher, is continuing her education in mathematics and recently won an Excellence Award from Western Governors University for her most recent task submission in Instructional Planning and Presentation. The award recognized her idea of using rulers in an unconventional manner to teach slope. Approximately 3 percent of submissions win in a field of tens of thousands of submissions each month, and this is her second award. The first award was received when she took the geometry class.

Travel-Study trip takes group to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam A Webb group visited Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in July as part of a travel-study program at the school. Participating in the 14-day trip were students and adult chaperones led by Mike Quinn, Webb art teacher. "When I lead trips through EF, which stands for "Education First", I'm always thinking "education follows", said Quinn. "I hope it is especially so following this trip. We toured magnificent temples, incredible cities, and met wonderful people, and I am hoping that the impressions, smells, sights and sounds will stay with the students as they receive reinforcing information from their future classes and experiences."

Character Education continues, receives update for 21st Century Known for an emphasis on character since its founding, The Webb School is marking the 150th anniversary focusing on the continued importance of character in the 21st Century with several initiatives already underway and next steps being planned. "In discussing a vision for Webb 150, one of our consultants said, 'You have been a school of character since the beginning, why not bring that to the 21st century?' Her words resonated very well with the Administrative Council, and the Character Committee was born," said Head of School Ray Broadhead. "The Committee, led by chair Kelly Northrup, has already produced some interesting programming. I look forward to watching them grow with new ideas this year and beyond."

"After much study, we chose to anchor our work in the findings

"As is typical at Webb, when we begin to consider growing, we find our students leading the way. Webb's strong Honor Council, peer leadership group Feet-to-Feet and Diversity Clubs have shown that our students are already committed to honor and character, positive peer support and inclusion," noted Northrup. "We want to tap into these groups more as we delve deeper into character education, allowing our students to show us where we are already strong, and where we need to put our focus in improvement." Residential Forum discussions, a Merit Program that recognizes students when they are doing something right and the use of chapel as a class for social-emotional learning with followup activities in seminar based on some of these chapel lessons are part of the program. Rounding out the initiative, students are completing community service in Bell Buckle and surrounding communities and are focusing on the study of Webb's environmental impact and taking measures to be a more sustainable community.

The Webb School Magazine

"Keeping Webb's Mission Statement and Enduring Understandings always in mind, we sought initiatives to expand the Character Education Program at Webb in ways that were thoughtful, intentional, and true to who we are as a school," said Northrup. Others on the committee, who are spearheading segments of the initiative, include Jodi Campbell, Mike Quinn, Pamela Seals, Jena Jones, Tabetha Sullens, Rhea Hyatt, Jon Bloom, Chadd Bridwell, Michele Daniel and Mallory Garcia. The Character Committee spent the 2018-2019 school year reading, researching and meeting with experts in philosophy, ethics and child psychology at the University of the South.

of Positive Psychology," Northrup explained. "Research in this field indicates that by focusing on strengths and on what makes a genuinely meaningful human experience, we are better able to help adolescents find happiness, and that happy teens are in fact more successful in school." She continued, "Focusing on Positive Psychology isn't a step away from our rigorous academic work; it is a step to support students as they embrace new challenges and grow into their full, independent selves.


"Career Deep Dives" sponsored by E.E. Ford Foundation, College Counseling and A&D

Nine students perform in MTSU Honors Orchestra

The Webb School's Offices of College Counseling and Alumni & Development, along with funding from the E.E. Ford Foundation, recently hosted a "Career Deep Dives" forum with seniors and boarding students. Our campus guests included Michael Watson (parent of Ruth '14, Will '15 and Wes '17), William Thompson '71, Jami K. Averwater '13 and Garrett King '10 who spoke with more than 20 students about their respective careers in engineering, medicine, law and finance.

Several Webb honors orchestra students were nominated to participate in the 2019 Middle Tennessee State University High School Honors Orchestra. Students were selected based on their proficiency on their instrument as well as their overall contribution to the Webb orchestra. String students who participated were Mary Bryant, Adelia Stanley, Emma Roy, Nancy Shi, Michael Jones, Kaden Thephavong, Bailey Chance, Carrie Simmons and Ben Greenberg. Students rehearsed with other high school students all day Oct. 25 and performed Oct. 26 in the Middle Tennessee State University Wright Music Building.

50 seniors receive blazers continuing Webb tradition; L.R. Smith keynote speaker The 50 seniors in the Class of 2020, Webb’s 150th anniversary class, participated in Blazer Day, one of many traditions, Nov. 12, as they received their senior blazers in a special chapel ceremony. The presentation is scheduled annually on or near the birthday of founder, W. R. “Sawney” Webb, who was born on Nov. 11, 1842. Marking the Blazer Day ceremony, L.R. Smith, history faculty member and chapel director, was the keynote speaker.

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As seniors continued the longtime Blazer Day tradition, the class members also had the opportunity to ring the bell that once stood


at the original school in Culleoka, Tenn., where Sawney Webb and brother, John Webb, began their classes. Each year, alumni present the blazers during a school-wide chapel ceremony. This year, Katherine Foutch Layman ’03 and Caitlin Roberts Jennings ’03, both alumni board members, participated. Director of Enrollment Management Julie Harris ’95 announced the seniors’ names.


Ouimet becomes U.S. Citizen in November ceremony Eric Ouimet, who joined Webb as a French teacher in 2018, recently became a U.S. Citizen. He attended the naturalization ceremony and took the oath of allegiance on Nov. 19 in a ceremony at the U.S. Courthouse in Nashville. A native of Canada, he will hold dual citizenship. Ouimet, a Murfreesboro resident, said he moved here for “love” after meeting and marrying Kimberly, a Nashville native. He has two stepsons, Ben and Jacob. “I have a great life in the United States, and we’ve decided (as a family) that we would want to spend the rest of our lives in the United States,” he explained.

He was a graduate teaching assistant at Middle Tennessee State University from January 2017-December 2018. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Teaching, Foreign Languages from MTSU. From 2001-2016, he was co-owner of Chameleon Design, which provided web design, programming, data analytics, search engine analytics and translation services. He is involved in competitive ballroom dancing, is active in fundraising for the American Heart Association and Alzheimer’s Association and is an Atlanta Shakespeare Theater patron.

New tutoring initiative for Honors Orchestra Class students showing positive results Recognizing the need for more competent string instructors throughout education systems and wanting to make Webb’s Advanced String Orchestra an Honors class has led to an arrangement with positive results for students.

more material than regular classes,” said teacher, Susan Mullen. “Passing an honors class is an excellent way for high school students to demonstrate their academic competency and discipline to college admissions boards.”

“I recently got approval for my Advanced String Orchestra to become an Honors Class. Honors courses generally refer to exclusive, higher-level classes that proceed at a faster pace and cover

As part of their requirement to get an A in Mullen’s Honors Class, the students had to choose one of six proposed activities that go above and beyond the normal class requirements. Some of the choices were taking private lessons, joining an outside orchestra, and others. One of the choices to satisfy the honors requirement was to tutor a beginning student for three lessons during the semester. Most of Mullen’s students decided to choose this option, so she paired 16 students on mutual instruments.

(Susan Mullen started the orchestra program in 2008 with seven students. Enrollment is now regularly between 70-80 students per year.)

The Webb School Magazine

“The results so far have been resoundingly positive,” Mullen explained. “The middle school students are thrilled to have the attention of an upper school student on campus, especially one who takes an interest in them and their playing. The tutors have taken their roles as teachers very seriously, and from my observations act extremely professional and encouraging.” Read more under "School News" at ____________________



Student Athletes of the Month August CONNER BROWN '22 September LOLA REYES '22 October MAX KWARTENG '20

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Brown 5th in state golf tourney, on All-Midstate boys’ golf team, nominee for Golfer of Year


2019 Homecoming king and queen • Keon Johnson '20 and Louisa Greenberg '20.



Conner Brown ’22 was named to the All-Midstate boys’ golf team and is now eligible for the boys’ golfer of the year recognition. The winner will be announced on May 29 at the fifth annual Tennessean Sports Awards presented by Farm Bureau Health Plans, according to a Nov. 21, 2019, article in The Tennessean. The article also noted that he was chosen because he “finished at even par at the TSSAA Division II-A state tournament. He finished fifth in the 36-hole tournament.”


Johnson vying for spot on USA Basketball Men’s U-18 National Team headed to Olympics Keon Johnson '20 recently signed a National Letter of Intent to the University of Tennessee and is part of a highly touted recruiting class. He is playing his senior year capping a celebrated high school tenure. But he also has another opportunity in his basketball career. He is vying for a place on the USA Basketball Men’s U-18 National Team that will compete in the Olympics in Tokyo in July. The team will be playing for a gold medal in the U-18 competition. "The USAB experience has been good. It helped me become more of a vocal leader especially for my senior season. There were a lot of learning curves not only on the court but off the court, protecting myself and my basketball future." The first time Johnson played on the U-18 team was in Colorado Springs last summer, and there were 50 players from across the country. The second time he returned to Colorado Springs was in October, and he was one of 20 players. There will be a practice in February when the number will be pared to the final cut of 13 players. “It’s amazing just to have my name on the list,” the Olympic hopeful said. It’s the top 13 players in country, and you’re one of them.” Johnson has benefited from the bonding and “being able to play with a lot of those guys on the same level with me. It ‘ups’ my game. You have to be on your "A" game when you step on the floor whether it is for practice, a game or a film session. I can see my game evolving.” Johnson added that if he makes the team, “representing the U.S on the Olympic Team and just the idea of having USA across your chest as your brand is an honor. It’s a high standard you have to hold and

measure up to. At the two U18 sessions, I feel like I’ve played my best. They’ve seen my "A" game every time,” he said and added that regardless of the outcome, “it’s just an honor that they saw me in Colorado Springs." Johnson's "A" game has kept him in the sights of major colleges and universities since his sophomore year at Webb, when he was named Div. II-A 2018 Mr. Basketball, a feat he repeated in 2019. It also landed him, along with two other top-ranked players, on the UT team next year. “I feel like it’s good pressure playing with another 5-star and a 4-star player on the UT team. Being part of a recruiting class that is being heralded, he added, "We'll all have to work hard. It holds us to a high standard. I feel like it will make us play harder knowing the stakes and will elevate everyone's game, including the coaches." He added that the team will want to achieve the same goal as other teams -- a national title. But before he makes a run at an Olympic team and then the transition to college basketball, he is playing his final season at Webb. At this point in his playing career, the goal for his high school team is no less important than his future goals. “There’s still one goal for the team and the whole school, which is a state championship,” he said. The past two years, Webb has made it to the TSSAA Div. II-A state tournament semifinals. At the close of his senior year of basketball, there are still the possibility of a few personal goals -- achieving a third Mr. Basketball honor, as well as being named a McDonald's All-American and Gatorade Player of the Year--the latter for which he was considered last year.

Johnson signs with University of Tennessee The Webb School Magazine

Keon Johnson '20 signed a National Letter of Intent to the University of Tennessee in chapel on Nov. 13. Pictured with him are, from left, Webb Assistant Basketball Coach James Garcia, his parents, Keith and Conswella Johnson, and sister, Kora Johnson '26, and Head Basketball Coach Jeff Mitchell.


Webb launched 11-man football after success playing 8-man Success during eight years of 8-man football allowed the Webb football program to advance to 11-man and compete in a new Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Division. The move fulfilled a vision that the athletics department has had since the first 8-man team took the field in August 2011 competing in the Middle Tennessee Athletics Conference. In an interview prior to the season, Director of Athletics Scott Dorsett said, "Our program has been blessed from day one. We had a great group of young men who bought into playing football." During the eight years of playing in the MTAC, the team made it to the final four on four different occasions and to the championship game three times. The team won the championship twice, in 2013 and 2016, and attended the 2013 NADC national tournament in

Dayton, Tenn., placing second. "It was always a vision of the athletics department to play 11-man football from the start. When the TSSAA decided to add a third division to Division II football (D-II A), it opened an opportunity for us to try 11-man and compete," Dorsett explained. "There is a two-year window for us to see if it works for our program." Dorsett said that the team will have the benefit of "several great athletes, especially in the skills position area." He added, "Our biggest challenge is depth at certain positions like the offensive and defensive lines. This challenge is to be expected and as our program grows, we will move forward in this area; but I believe as a small school we will always be challenged by numbers." The AD related a compliment following the one 11-man game the team played in 2018 against Middle Tennessee Christian School. "Their coach told me we had the best skill position players in the league. I think we will match up pretty well with most teams." He added, "We must remember that all teams start somewhere, and we are starting our 11-man program in 2019." “It is always hard to transition from one level of play to a higher level,” Dorsett said following the 2019 season. “We knew that we would be going through some growing pains this year as we stepped up to 11-man football,” Dorsett explained. “I am very proud of the effort that our boys brought to the field each night, growing up in each game they played. We are looking forward to the continued growth of our football program and our transition into the 11-man game.”

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The Webb School Magazine



Education: a Webb Family Tradition, continued from Page 30 of the Webb School of California to spend five weeks as a rising 9th grader on a fossil hunting trip led by Ray Alf, the same biology teacher at that Webb School who had taught and inspired my second cousin, Sawney David Webb, the Florida museum curator. This experience started me on my geological career of studying past climates and climate change. You can imagine what a thrill it was as a boy to find bones, teeth, and skulls of animals that lived 30 million years ago in rock formations of Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In college, I had a mentor and advisor who was a botanist, and I shifted my interest from vertebrates to studying plants and then got my PhD in an atmospheric sciences department, where I used fossil plant evidence of changing vegetation to infer past changes in climate. My studies join those of many other paleoclimatologists in showing how unprecedented and unusual the present rate of climate change is. Currently my former students and their students, my scholarly descendants, are continuing to address the issue of climate change, and they have become an additional part of the educational legacy of the Webb Family. Before closing, I want to pick up again on the bibliophilic or loveof-books side of the legacy by noting the three family members who have followed Alla’s lead in becoming librarians. The first is Betty Docker Webb, my uncle Howell’s wife, who managed and built up the library at Foothill Country Day School, and for whom

the library there is now named. The second is my Uncle Jack, the youngest of my father’s three brothers, who was a librarian at Claremont High School, and the third is my daughter Sarah, who for her PhD research in Library Science studied how public libraries in Namibia in southwest Africa are supporting the education of students there and contributing to that country’s developing democracy. The educational legacy of Sawney and Emma’s branch of the family, therefore, shows up in the careers of 21 family members. They include four librarians, five school founders who join with two others to make seven who served as principals or headmasters, one university administrator, six college professors, and one physics researcher, and two high school teachers. And I haven’t even included the many informal ways in which Webb family members are involved in education and teaching. To sum up for how I fit in the Webb Family tree, I am the oldest son of the oldest son of the youngest son and child of Sawney Webb, who himself was the ninth child of Alexander Smith Webb and who with Alexander’s eleventh child, John Webb, made such a success of this school. I am proud to have caught the spirit of learning and teaching and to be part of their educational legacy.

Webb hallmarks common thread as three generations of family share their stories, continued from Page 21 Stevie Smoot What does Webb mean to you today? As my daughter embarks on her journey at Webb, I am reminded of the honor code and focus on integrity, morals and character. Not only does Webb prepare students academically but also strengthens their character.

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

What advice do you have for today’s Webb students? Know how fortunate you are to learn and grow in the Webb environment. The faculty and staff truly care about each and every one of you. Your experience at Webb will help you achieve great things in life!


What are you doing now? I am a family nurse practitioner and, along with my mother, who is also a NP, own a private medical practice in Murfreesboro, Tenn., called Murfreesboro BioRenew & IV Infusion Clinic. We are an integrative and functional medicine clinic with a focus on prevention and healing chronic disease by treating the root cause. We specialize in BioIdentical hormone replacement therapy, peptide therapy, IV nutrient infusions, and will soon offer regenerative joint injections with PRP and stem cells. I am the proud momma to an eight-year-old son, Eli and 12-year-old daughter, Eva (Webb class of 2025) . We reside in Bell Buckle, Tenn., near The Webb School campus. In my free time, I enjoy riding horses, hiking and the outdoors.

Eva Pagello What are 3-4 of your most memorable events/times as a Webb student both inside and outside the classroom? • My declamation was memorable because it was the first time I had spoken in front of so many people. • Going to see "The Giver" play in Nashville at Tennessee Performing Arts Center was very exciting and interesting to watch. • Homecoming with my friends was a lot of fun. What are some of the ways Webb impacted you as a student? Webb has made me more of a thoughtful and studious person. What does Webb mean to you today? A lot of homework! What advice do you have for today’s Webb students? Study for midterms and finals. Don't wait until the last minute to study. What are you doing now? I love to read fiction novels. I also enjoy riding my horse Thea.

Class Notes Life And Career Updates To Keep You Connected With Your Classmates

1940s 1950s DR. ROBERT EDWARDS '47, of Arrington, Tenn., his daughter, Sherrye Ahlborg, and friend recently visited The Webb School. While on campus, Dr. Edwards had an opportunity to sit in the Junior Room and look at the Class of 1947 Senior Board. Afterwards, Ms. Ahlborg visited the Chapel to take photos of 1947's class composite as well as look at the photos of other relatives who attended Webb.

PETER CLAVERIE ’55 and his wife Aphra recently visited campus. While at Webb, the Claveries visited with Jonathon Hawkins, director of alumni relations and annual giving, the Admissions Office and took a tour of campus. They especially enjoyed seeing the 1955 Senior Board in the Junior Room.


DAVID PHILLIPS '66, Carmel, Ind. writes: “Just reached our one-year anniversary of commercial operations of Sugar Creek Vineyard & Winery. Check us out at

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STEPHEN GRAHAM, TOM COOPER AND BOB THOMPSON, ALL WEBB GRADUATES IN THE CLASS OF 1965, recently attended their Princeton University 50-year reunion as graduates in the Class of 1969.


1970s JOSH HALL ’72 is the Executive Vice President of Business Development at MedHelp in Birmingham, Ala. MedHelp has five locations in the Birmingham area and is a family practice that also offers urgent care, internal medicine, diagnostic services, and more. Josh graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a bachelor's degree in business administration and has been in business development for the majority of his career. DAWN SHEPHERD TAYLOR ’78 recently received two awards including the Ann Halpern Service award from AAF-Birmingham 2019 “10 Awards” for more than 20 years of service to the professional organization as their executive director. She was also named one of 25 Top Women of Alabama Media from Business Alabama magazine’s inaugural award ceremony. Dawn currently serves as office manager/accounting for Uptick Marketing and Producer for Crowneworks Creative Media (a sister company) in Birmingham. She has served as Class Agent for the Webb Class of 1978 since 1978..

JUSTICE SCOTT CRICHTON '72 and IRV ASHFORD '87 gave a chapel talk on Nov. 1 titled "Branding and Reputation: A conversation about character with The Webb School Trustees." Both were on campus for the November Board of Trustees meeting.

1980s Fall-Winter 2019-2020

BEN HUDDLESTON '85, Nashville, Tenn., joined Southwestern Family of Companies as in-house general counsel, the first person to hold that role for the longstanding locally based company.


Huddleston, who will provide management and oversight of the legal activities for Southwestern’s 18 affiliated companies, previously served for two years (2016-18) as vice president and corporate secretary at Quorum Health, according to a release. Prior to that, and from 2011-15, he was vice president, legal services, at Community Health Systems. Huddleston also has held leadership roles at DaVita and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Huddleston earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. “Ben brings more than 25 years of experience as a well-respected attorney, and we are very excited to have him as part of our team at Southwestern Family of Companies,” Dustin Hillis, Southwestern CEO, said in the release. “(He) plays a strategic role as we move toward our goal of growing the company to 200 businesses by 2048.”

CAPT. TATE WESTBROOK '85 was the chapel speaker in observance of Veterans Day at Webb. He also spoke in several classes while on campus. Capt. Westbrook is currently assigned as the Programming Integration Branch Head (N801) in the Navy Programming Directorate (N80).

1990s CURTISA PATTON NICHOLS ‘91 completed her Doctor of Education degree August 2019 from Trevecca Nazarene University. Detective Sergeant SCOTT ARNOLD '93, of Warrenton, Va., was presented with the Warrenton Ruritan Club's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award along with recipients from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police. Detective Sergeant Arnold was recognized for his dedication and outstanding service to the citizens of the Town of Warrenton. CLINT HALL '98 has been named Director of Government Relations for National Healthcare Corporation (NHC). Clint is staying in Smithville and working out of the NHC headquarters.

ERICA WRIGHT '99 was joined by family, friends, and fans at Parnassus Books for an author event in Nashville on Nov. 12. Wright just published her fourth novel, Famous in Cedarville, which was called "a clever little whodunnit" in The New York Times Book Review. Members of the Webb community gathered at the book signing for a picture (taken by Sandra Carlton, Parent '99). For more information about upcoming events as part of the book tour, please go to her website:

2000s GEORGE HUDDLESTON III, '04, Winter Park, Fla., and wife Liana recently welcomed new son Logan Thompson into their family.

SARA THOMPSON JONES ‘04, Winchester, Tenn., and husband welcomed daughter Magnolia Reid Thompson Jones on Sept. 10, 2019, at 3:20 p.m. weighing 7 lbs., and was 20.5” long.

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THEODORE W. GOODMAN '02 was recently recognized by the Tennessee Supreme Court as a 2019 Tennessee Attorney for Justice, an honor awarded to attorneys who provide at least 50 hours of Pro Bono legal services in the prior year. Chief Justice Bivens and Justice Clark presented the awards in a Nashville ceremony on Oct, 28. This is the third year Goodman has been recognized as an Attorney for Justice. Goodman’s Pro Bono Activities include providing legal services to NF Tennessee, Inc. (a non-profit dedicated to advancing the interests of Neurofibromatosis patients), the Oaklands Historic House Museum, and the Lascassas Volunteer Fire Department. Goodman also sits on the Board of Directors of all three of those organizations. Goodman also provides pro bono legal services to select private individuals. In addition to his pro bono activities, Goodman serves on the Alumni Board of The Webb School and served nearly 10 years on the Board of Court Appointed Special Advoocates for Children (CASA).


Butler Snow attorney HANNAH KAY HUNT FREEMAN '08 has been named one of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30 by the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, according to a Butler Snow news release. The program honors 30 young professionals and philanthropists in Nashville under the age of 30 who exemplify leadership qualities, are active in volunteer roles and have excelled in the business community. Freeman will be actively fundraising for the foundation, with the program culminating with a gala in February. Freeman is a member of Butler Snow’s litigation department and practices within the Commercial Litigation group. She is also a member of the firm’s Construction Law Task Force.

CAITLIN ANDERSON REYNOLDS '09 gave birth to Charles Edwards Reynolds on Nov. 3, 2019. Caitlin and her husband Christopher are calling him Charlie. CALLIE KERBO '12 is the Creative Director and Founder of Honeycomb Creative, a boutique brand development firm in Austin, Texas. She is also chair of the Ambassador Committee on the Austin Young Chamber.

Fall-Winter 2019-2020

RADHA YERRAMILLI ’12 of New Orleans, La., recently passed her bar exam and has been admitted to the Louisiana Bar.


FLORA SEO '17 AND ROHAN KAZA '17 recently visited campus during the RC-Moon Pie Festival. While at Webb, they stopped in the Bond Library to chat with Library Director Hannah Little. Flora is a student at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City, and Rohan is a student at Rhodes College in Memphis.

Since August of 2018, AUSTIN FIALA '17 has served as Attorney General of the Associated Student Body (ASB) of the University of Mississippi. As Attorney General, Fiala serves as the head of the ASB Department of Justice, interpreting ASB law for members of the University community and representing the ASB when prosecuting violations of ASB law. Further, Fiala also serves as the chief officiant and returning officer for campus elections—ensuring free and fair elections for all students. In September of this year, during the 2019 Fall General Election, Fiala oversaw the inaugural election of the University of Mississippi’s Homecoming King, as well as the largest voter turnout in the history of campus elections at the University of Mississippi. For the remainder of his term, Fiala is focusing on working with members of the ASB Senate to improve ASB law to be more easily understood by the average student. Additionally, Fiala and the DOJ are currently leading the ASB’s investigative efforts into the controversial selection process of the University’s new Chancellor. In the coming months, Fiala and the ASB plan to begin lobbying the Mississippi State Legislature calling for reform of the IHL Board—the Board of Trustees that governs all of the public universities in the state of Mississippi— in light of this recent controversial selection process.

The Alumni Board recently held its fall meeting in Bond Library. While on campus, members had an opportunity to hear from a group of upper school students who talked about their Webb experiences. Pictured from left: (First Row) Caroline Smith Pryor '11, Kaleb Tilton '12, senior student Vraj Patel, senior student Dacey Goodwin, junior student Mollie Kate Creech, Hudson Byrd '05, Moe Hill '75, Katherine Layman '03, Caitlin Roberts Jennings '03. (Second Row) Deb Roberts Horst '75, Libby Willis '80, Director of Alumni and Development Matt Wilson, Bob Davies '76, junior student Winter Bell, Curtis Jenkins '92, EnaShea Kohler '88, Jennifer Rupley Smith '93, Sarah DeLisle '05 and Webb Follin III '73.

In Memoriam The Webb School offers sincere sympathy to the families of departed classmates To view the announcements in their entirety, visit

1940s Paul Craven ’44, 93, longtime resident of Oak Ridge, Tenn., and retiree from Y-12, passed away June 25, 2019. The service was July 2 at Weatherford Mortuary with burial at Oak Ridge Memorial Park.

Thomas Rogers Birdwell, MD ’47 of Pensacola, Fla., beloved husband, father, brother and grandfather, accomplished physician, and unparalleled fly fishing enthusiast, passed away at home on Oct. 18, 2019. A memorial service was held Oct. 25 at St. John's

Thomas Jackson Lisenby ’47, born in Shreveport, La., on Aug. 26, 1930, went to be with the Lord on Nov. 10, 2019. A memorial service was held Nov. 22, 2019 at St. Martin's Episcopal Church. (Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 17, 2019) Richard Franklin "Dick" Ellis ’48 passed away Aug. 28, 2019, in Oklahoma City, Okla. A memorial service was held Sept. 3, 2019 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. (Published in The Oklahoman from Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, 2019)

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Robert J. Gilliland, Jr. ’44 died July 4, 2019, at the retirement home where he lived in Rancho Mirage, Calif. A Celebration of Life Ceremony was held on Sept. 28 at March Field Air Museum in Riverside, Calif. At his request, his ashes were sprinkled in his favorite trout stream.

Episcopal Church, Pensacola, followed by a reception at the Birdwell residence. (Published in Pensacola News Journal from Oct. 22 to Oct. 24, 2019)


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The Webb School 2019-2020 Fall-Winter Magazine  

News, photos and updates about The Webb School - Bell Buckle, Tenn.

The Webb School 2019-2020 Fall-Winter Magazine  

News, photos and updates about The Webb School - Bell Buckle, Tenn.