Renewed Investment in Webb from the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation Drives a Banner Admissions Cycle

Since 2018, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has played a major role in supporting Webb’s ability to attract and retain the brightest students, regardless of financial means, by providing need-based grants to students for their room and board costs. With contributions of $325,000 over two multi-year grants, the Foundation’s giving helps make a Webb education truly accessible to all.

Webb is experiencing a banner year in admissions with a 32% increase in total applications over the last three years, a 34% increase in female applicants and an over-50% increase in students expected to require financial assistance if admitted, with an increasingly diverse applicant pool and growing numbers of first-generation college applicants. The final makeup of the Class of 2028 is still developing – the admissions process is underway, including student exams, interviews, and overnight visits which give prospective students an appreciation for what makes Webb special – and the support of our donors plays a key role in Webb’s commitment to meeting the full demonstrated need of Webb students.

The Honorable Peter Fox Cohalan, Trustee of the Gardiner Foundation

“The Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation proudly recognizes and supports Webb Institute’s steadfast commitment to maritime heritage and educational excellence. The Foundation is eager to further William Webb’s mission of attracting and educating tomorrow’s leaders in an extraordinary learning community focused on engineering and design in the maritime field. We are proud of our continued partnership with Webb,” said Kathryn M. Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

Students who have benefited from Gardiner Foundation grants echo a collective “thank you” for helping make their Webb education possible. While each Webb student is awarded a full-tuition scholarship, supported by contributions from generous Webb donors which augment the endowment, room and board costs represent a significant outlay for many families, and this additional support is vital to a successful Webb experience.

Amongst current and future Webbies are voices that resonate with hope and gratitude. Some know their life’s path and just need support to navigate it: 

“During my college search, I was actively looking for schools with strong naval architecture programs. I then met a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and asked his opinion on what he felt was the best school in this discipline.  Without hesitation, he said, ‘Webb Institute!’ After my first visit to Webb, it immediately became my school of choice,” said Rayne Duff ‘25.

Others come to Webb with a passion for engineering and are later exposed to the tight-knit maritime world. Meet Karissa Nieves ’27, whose passion is matched at Webb by the support she receives. “My favorite part of being here is the Webb community. For once in my life, I feel accepted by my peers and have found people that I really connect with.”

Webb’s unique Winter Work internships have just wrapped up, with our students gaining real-life experience working across the United States and around the world. Not only do they come back with tales of discovery, adventure, and friendship, but the internships play a key role in securing the 100% job placement that Webb has become known for.

We thank the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation for being part of the Webb legacy that is shaping the future, one student at a time.

The Honorable Peter Fox Cohalan with a group of Webb scholarship honorees.