Student leaders welcome 73 new boarders to campus


International student liaisons Alice Hou (’20) and Vivien Xi (’21) will be sure to attend student government’s Webb Fest on August 25th.

The fleeting eleven weeks of Summer 2018 may have been a paradise packed with blissful travelling, much needed relaxation, and impressive productivity, but the arrival of mid-August signals that the start-of-year events for new and returning Webbies have officially begun. The pleasant chatter between returning student leaders and new boarders is now beginning to invigorate the once eerily quiet summer campus as Webbies prepare to start another school year full of learning and growth.

On Friday, August 17th, families of young teenagers from all over the globe gathered in Claremont, California for the 2018-19 New Boarding Student Orientation. A whirlwind of nervousness, wonder, and excitement filled the air as new students prepared to open the next chapter in their lives studying at a top West Coast boarding school.

Waving a colorful flag high above their heads, volunteers from the student government and honor cabinet shepherded new families on campus tours to the following destinations: the health center, Fawcett Library, museum, security, Hooper Student Center, alumni office, deans meet & greet, business office, and dining hall. At each station, new students and parents collected free Webb-branded swag such as hand sanitizers from the health center, pens from the alumni office, and flash-drives from Fawcett Library.

Charlie Chen (‘19), president of the Webb School of California, remarked, “Touring new students around campus was like being in a time-capsule because I could see my freshman 2015 self in their eyes full of anxiety and amazement. And as head of student government, it is my job to put on fun and exciting events like Theme Nights and Webb Fest for them. My ultimate goal is to get as many freshmen as possible to fall in love with Webb just like I did three years ago.”

After the campus tour, domestic boarding students eagerly scattered to their respective rooms to say hello to their new dorm prefects or councillors, roommate, and residential dorm head. Meanwhile, peer advisors greeted international students in the library, helped them to set up domestic bank accounts, showed them how to acquire a new phone number, and directed them to an international student program-run Q&A table.

Ava Sinha (‘20), a new dorm councillor in South Hutch, commented, “I loved meeting the new, enthusiastic, and excited faces in the dorm today because I felt like a big sister. Our plan for Saturday night is to play a fun game of hide-and-seek so new boarders become more comfortable with knowing the ins and outs of the dorm. On Sunday, when the returning boarders arrive back on campus, we will review the dorm rules and then have a bonding art project that will hopefully help create a more lively and homey atmosphere in the dorm.”

At 4 p.m., new students trekked up Gym Hill to gather for the Ice Cream Social on Ruddick Patio while their parents gathered for a reception held at the Stockdale home.

As it approached twilight, families headed home for one final night together before move-in day. Tomorrow evening is bound to be full of laughter, tears, and hugs, but parents should rest assured knowing that our student leaders will ensure that the transition to a boarding community is as seamless as possible for our newest Webbies.