Giving With Honor: John Duden ’81 and the Class of 1981
Giving With Honor: John Duden ’81 and the Class of 1981

In 2006, John Duden ’81 and Michael Turner ’81 established a class scholarship fund with the help of their classmates in honor of their 25th reunion. After years of generous contributions, the fund began distributions in 2014 with its inaugural Class of 1981 Scholar, Henry Dominguez-Letelier ’17. Dominguez-Letelier received the award for three years, until his graduation and subsequent matriculation to Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

Around the same time that Dominguez-Letelier graduated from Webb, Duden detected some physical changes in his health. After a battery of tests that ran for more than a year, the diagnosis was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). With incredible humility and courage, Duden and his family thought not only of themselves but of others less fortunate who are living with ALS. Duden quickly became a champion to find a cure. He joined the Leadership Council of Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS, a nonprofit organization committed to changing the experience of thousands living with ALS by investing in cutting-edge research to advance effective treatment and an ultimate cure.

Turner later contacted Webb with a recommendation. He asked if the Class of 1981 Scholarship Fund could be renamed in honor of his classmate. “John was determined to live life to the fullest,” Turner said. “He exemplified the specific traits he developed at Webb.”

The class of 1981 agreed, and the fund was not only renamed, it also received additional contributions. In 2019, the John Duden Class of ’81 Scholarship Fund received leadership gifts from Michael Turner ’81, Jon Congdon ’81, Rick Warder ’81, George Sun ’81 and John Duden ’81 himself.

Sadly, Duden lost his battle with ALS in April 2021, and the scholarship fund now lives on to impart his legacy for decades to come. Just as Duden lived his life with honor and moral courage and serving with a generous spirit, so too will future generations of Webb students, thanks in part to the financial aid made possible by this fund. Webb is deeply honored and grateful to award a scholarship in Duden’s name, especially because it exhibits the love and support that Webb alumni have for one another.

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We must dramatically increase financial aid endowment to ensure Webb can enroll and support every student with the drive to succeed and passion to contribute to our schools.

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