Each year, the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences celebrates and honors professionals who already have established themselves in the field of education and who help students who one day will follow in their footsteps. These Educators are inducted into the Educators Hall of Honor. This wall is located in the front entrance hall of the Claxton Education Building and stands as a proud reminder of their impact and legacy that inspires the next generation of Educators.
This year, we have inducted seven new members including: Alice Bratten, Amos Hatch, Debora Hatch, Walter Mencer, John Peters, Steve Reddick, and Robert Webb. We will be highlighting each one. Today, we would like to introduce you to Robert Webb.
We are proud to posthumously induct Robert “Bob” Webb into the Educators Hall of Honor. Like several of our other nominees, Bob was a graduate of the University of Tennessee, receiving his Bachelors degree in Mathematics in 1941 and his Master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision in 1947. These degrees must have come easy for Bob due to his family history in leading excellent educational institutions. His grandfather, William Robert Webb, founded the very first Webb School in 1870 in Maury County, Tennessee and his uncle, Thompson Webb, established The Webb School in Claremont, California. Bob eventually worked for Uncle Thompson in California and returned to Tennessee in 1955 with his wife Julie with plans to establish a third Webb School in Knoxville.
At thirty-six years of age, Robert and Julie proudly founded the new Webb School of Knoxville and in it’s very first year, boasted a total of four students enrolled. That first academic year was conducted in the small basement of Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church but Bob wasn’t at all discouraged and eventually moved to a new location at the site of the old Staub School which was a former medical complex that occupied the site where the University of Tennessee’s aquatic center now stands. In 1959, Webb School relocated to the current campus in Cedar Bluff and in 1968 was reorganized due to its growth into a lower and upper school. Over time, Webb school has expanded to include Pre-K through twelfth grade and flourished to become an outstanding private, independent, co-educational day school. Bob and Julie established the profound mission of Webb School which is to, “Inspire and nurture the full potential of each individual and to prepare our students to serve as leaders of character in tomorrow’s world”.
Webb School has seen its one-hundred and ten acre campus grow over the years as well as its enrollment. Due to a successful academic philosophy, Webb is now seeing enrollment surpass the one-thousand student mark and boasts eight recent national merit semifinalists. Its class of 2016 graduates had one-hundred percent college placement and received more than eight million dollars in scholarship offers. Several former notable alumni include sports stars Chad Pennington, Glory Johnson, and Tennessee’s own Governor, the Honorable Bill Haslam.