Jess Fisher — History and Humanities Chair

Academic Innovation and Unbounded Thinking

One great example of academic innovation and unbounded thinking at Webb is the growth and success of its Humanities Program. Unique among boarding and independent schools, the program is deeply admired as a model among the most selective colleges and universities.

“We stand out in our unwavering commitment to interdisciplinary work, and in our persistence to grow the breadth and depth of our academic offerings,” Humanities Co-Chair Fisher explained.

While skills development is central to this work, so is creating curriculum tethered to the passions of students, as well as teachers. Webb teachers have developed courses such as The Cold War Era and Economic Thought in the Modern Age. And Fisher offered other examples. “Our Humanities faculty have developed dozens of electives on myriad topics, including environmental sustainability, religious sites, gothic literature, LGBT history, and the politics of the US-Mexico border, just to name a few. In the coming years, we hope to expand our offerings in Film Studies and Music History. We are fortunate to be able to collaborate closely with the Webb Fine Arts department to support our interdisciplinary work.”

Even while the Humanities faculty integrates digital media skills into their classes, they are also share a commitment to developing foundational skills like writing, too.

The success of The Centennial Campaign is vital to the quality of our instruction in the years ahead. Fisher added, “We need to increase our investment in academic spaces, with state-of-the-art classrooms and resources. We also need to continue to invest in more faculty housing for current and future faculty, if we want to continue to attract and retain the best talent. These two investments are vitality important to Webb’s success. And as we concentrate deliberately on diversity, equity and inclusion here, we must focus on offering highly competitive teaching salaries. These are expensive undertakings, I know, but Webb’s success in its next century depends upon these investments.”




​Every accomplishment or success in the last century was supported through philanthropy and led by a member or members of our community. This commitment has been unwavering — across eras, through the decades, around the world. Now more than ever, this commitment can and will push Webb to ever-greater impact and success.

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