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  • First Foreign Exchange Students Join the Webb Alumni Association

First Foreign Exchange Students Join the Webb Alumni Association

The first group of exchange students from the University of Southampton were inducted into the Webb Alumni Association (WAA) at the Annual Alumni Banquet on November 18 in Houston, marking another significant milestone in the history of Webb Institute.

The three students – Elie Amar, Marion James, and Ruth Taylor – attended Webb during the spring semester of 2011 and became associated with the senior class with whom they took most of their courses. Although Webb has been sending sophomore students to Southampton since the fall of 2009, this year was the first that the University of Southampton had been able to reciprocate the opportunity. The foreign students formed a strong bond with their senior classmates, and on the day before Homecoming, they inquired about getting inducted into the Alumni Association along with their senior classmates at the WAA annual meeting during Homecoming. Unfortunately, there was insufficient time before the meeting for the WAA Executive Committee to pulse the sentiment of the alumni about admitting foreign students, and to check on the legality of their induction with respect to the WAA by-laws. Later, a check of the WAA bylaws indicated that there was no statutory problem; they state that, "Any person who was enrolled at Webb Institute shall be eligible for membership at any time after that person’s class shall have completed the first half of its senior year." The exchange students fit that bill and alumni sentiment was found to be clearly in favor of their admittance. This was communicated to the three students and they then formally requested admission into the WAA, acknowledging the expectation that they will pay dues and contribute to the annual Webb Alumni Fund. In order to obtain final approval of the WAA membership, alumni were invited via the annual banquet invitation to vote on-line at the Webb Institute website alumni portal and 100% of those members who did vote were in favor. At the banquet, WAA President Rich Celotto convened a special meeting and a motion to admit the students was passed with unanimous acclaim. The Association welcomes these three exchange students as the first of many who will join the WAA along with their graduating classmates each year.