campaign priority

Foster Academic

Through Unbounded Thinking and Academic Partnerships


$70 Million +

Goal: $70 million+

Winning the future will require brave and inventive academic programming that builds on Webb’s current commitment to excellence —seeking new avenues for innovation at every turn.

Students and faculty at Webb don’t just learn from others—they create knowledge through creative exploration, experimentation, field study and research. This is accomplished through unique opportunities provided by our extraordinary faculty, through one-of-a-kind academic partnerships, and through our partnership with the Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology. Such unbounded thinking is the bedrock of our 100 years of success and will be critical to our future.

In fact, Webb’s school-wide commitment to field study and academic partnerships with higher education and industry is unmatched anywhere in the country. With the success of this campaign, Webb will continue to lead the national conversation on academic innovation and unbounded thinking in schools across the country and around the world.

Start Something at Webb: Make a Multi-year Leadership Pledge to the Webb Fund

Your gifts provide that margin of excellence we rely on everyday—supporting everything from financial aid to faculty growth and development, the Alf Museum to campus maintenance, athletics to afternoon activities.





As part of The Centennial Campaign, you can enter into a multi-year, leadership pledge and make a powerful, lasting impact on Webb today and tomorrow. You may begin with a five-year pledge in annual installments

Open Webb to the World

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Transform Our Campus Home

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The Science of Unbounded Thinking

Lisa Nacionales

Science Chair

“While we may not be able to conceive of the global problems our students will face in the future, we do know that the solutions will be cross-disciplinary and rooted in science, and so we are constantly evolving our curriculum to engage students in the scientific process, to reward academic risk taking, and to think in global, ethical, and inclusive ways.”

You will face problems for which you are unprepared, head-on. Discovery is a series of actions, not a theoretical process. Such ideas are embedded in the ethos of our school community. And they are embedded in the work of science.

Interestingly, a giant of science at Webb, and beyond it, Ray Alf was offered his first contract by Thompson Webb to teach biology, a job for which he was completely unprepared. In fact, he had not taken a single course in biology at Doane College, where he studied.

The summer before Alf was to begin, he found himself in Boulder, Colorado auditing courses in botany and invertebrate zoology. Though only auditing, Alf did the lab work and completed the exams, but received no college credit. However, by September was prepared to start his work at Webb.

Webb has always been peopled with teaching giants. Today, the Science Department is led by Lisa Nacionales, a brilliant teacher and academic role model, as well as an outdoor adventurer, rock climber and certified wilderness first responder (WFR). Nacionales joined Webb in 2012 and was elevated to department chair in 2018. Her department has forged one-of-a-kind academic partnerships with faculty at Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College, UC Riverside and Keck Graduate Institute.

“We have been fortunate to have cutting edge lab spaces that inspire creativity, to give students opportunities to do science outside of the classroom, to create partnerships with colleges and other institutions, and to provide support and growth opportunities for our passionate science educators,” Nacionales said.

Through Webb’s research-focused program, students learn to critically evaluate new scientific information as it emerges, ask questions, generate solutions to problems, and to find meaningful and culturally relevant connections between science and their lives.

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