New Student Journey: First Year at Webb

by Hank Wolfe ’26


Over the last year, I have received the honor of becoming a Webbie and learning what the title holds. It’s more than a nickname or label, being a Webbie is a way of life – one that includes the excessive wearing of flip-flops and late night burrito orders. Jokes aside, becoming a Webbie has shined a light for me on the power of community. I came into Webb excited and ready to work but with some hesitation-hesitation about figuring out how I would fit into the Webb family I had heard so much about. The idea of living with a hundred peers seemed daunting. My nerves would settle as I joined my new home.

What a great first year it was! My classmates and I meshed from the start. Laughter became a norm in the design studio. Even on the nights when the homework seemed endless, the optimism and humor of my friends got me through. Learning to have fun and acknowledging the work will inevitably get done is the key to success at Webb. Having fun consists of different things for different people. Sailing is a huge part of it for me. Thanks to the opportunities the Webb sailing team and NEKA have provided, I traveled the east coast to sail, going as far as Key West with Zach Doerr ‘24 for a weekend during our Winter Work term.

The Webb family extends far beyond the classroom. I had the privilege of working at Michael Rybovich and Sons Custom Boatworks under Dusty Rybovich ‘10, the talented foreman, “Flipper,” and the rest of the crew. They eagerly took me under their wing, teaching me all there is to know about constructing sportfishing yachts. The hands-on experience I gained at the shipyard will last me a lifetime. While working in Florida, numerous other Webbies invited me to join them for dinner, and even stay with them for a weekend. The endless generosity from the Webb network was a constant reminder of how lucky I am to be a part of this community.

Going into sophomore year I am looking forward to meeting the next round of freshmen. I hope to lead by example, showing them the responsibilities of being a Webbie. I am excited to dive further into the NAME world, make more memories, and share laughs – all from the comfort of a pair of flip-flops.