The Webb School recently celebrated the start of its 150th school year as classes resumed on its historic Bell Buckle campus. The first day of school officially marked the beginning of a year-long celebration of the institution's longevity and success.
Webb 150, as the celebration has been named, kicked off with students gathering on the school's football field to form a "150" while a drone operated by a local production company hovered above to capture images of the momentous occasion. Festivities are planned throughout the year with special events in U.S. cities and abroad, a "Coast-to-Coast Toast" on founder William Robert "Sawney" Webb's Nov. 11 birthday, distinctive speakers and classroom activities. The celebration will culminate with an anniversary party in April 2020 and the 150th graduating class on May 23, 2020.
"All of us at Webb are excited about Webb 150," said Head of School Ray Broadhead. "Reaching this milestone is an incredible feat. Webb continues to uphold its history and traditions by maintaining a strong commitment to honor, integrity and character. As part of Webb 150 and beyond, we want to preserve those ideals of Webb which are immutable, but also adjust to the changing times through a character education program.
The Webb School was founded in 1870 in Culleoka, Tenn., by Webb. The school moved to its current location in nearby Bell Buckle in 1886. It is the oldest, continuously operating boarding school in the South.
The 2019-2020 student body includes 317 students, including 203 day students and 114 boarding students. The student body also represents 18 different countries and 12 U.S. states. There are 91 new students enrolled for the current school year.
"One of our chief goals, echoed throughout the past 150 years of The Webb School is the notion of character," said Broadhead as he addressed students and their families. "Character is not taught in a classroom. It is how we live at Webb. We are not perfect, but we aspire to be better in this area every day. It is a community dogma, it is fundamental to who we are. We value integrity. We value honor. We value respect for self and others."