Campaign for Webb – America’s Most Unique College

Joseph Cuneo

Joseph Cuneo ’57

Sea trials and shakedown (pardon the pun) cruises are largely completed, and we have passed with flying colors. As we begin the longer voyage of the public phase of the Campaign for Webb I try to put myself in the shoes of others and ask, “Why invest in Webb?” To answer this question some reflection about our founder might be appropriate.

William H. Webb lived what many philosophers might consider a near-ideal and well-ordered life; he acquired an education, became a productive member of the economy, achieved financial sustainability, and gave back to society. He was largely self-educated as a ship designer and builder, and his ships earned worldwide recognition for quality, speed, and integrity. He amassed a comfortable fortune, lived well, and in his later years gave back to society, both through his own personal efforts and by directing the large bulk of his fortune to the establishment of what is now Webb Institute.

Webb, the man, and Webb, the college he founded, are appropriately quite alike. Hard work, quality, a combination of practicality and cutting-edge technology, an international scope, integrity, and a strong ethos of giving back—are vital aspects of the man and the college.

The extraordinary percentage of alumni donors and the growing level of their support are enduring testimony to the spirit of giving back, epitomized by Mr. Webb and endorsed by those who have benefitted from his generosity.

The good fortune to serve as a Trustee of Webb Institute for 33 years has given me a front row seat for watching the steady flow of talented and motivated young men and women proudly walking up to receive their diplomas after four challenging years of hard work. As the years pass I am continuously impressed by the quality and the spirit of today’s young Webb alumni. In a world replete with many changing and relativistic values, the central values of Webb thrive and endure—quality, hard work, cutting-edge technology, integrity, a sense of community, loyalty, and a commitment to giving back. Witnessing this year after year is what motivates me to do whatever I can to insure that the tradition of Webb is perpetuated now and for the years to come.

For anyone interested in providing philanthropic support for education, Webb provides an opportunity to invest in the best. Webb is a pure meritocracy, and its alumni are testimony to its success. Campaigns provide institutions of higher learning with the opportunity to focus their fundraising efforts on specific and substantial needs of the institution. At Webb we have deliberately chosen to structure the Campaign for Webb as a comprehensive campaign meaning that all gifts and most pledges, regardless of their size or purpose, received by Webb by June 30, 2019, will be included in Campaign totals. As most of the readers of this Annual Report can appreciate, it is a tall order to maintain sufficient financial resources to operate a top-notch engineering college and to offer four-year full-tuition scholarships to each and every young man and woman who displays the passion and aptitude necessary to gain admission to and work toward their degree from Webb. While there will be significant focus during the Campaign on securing scholarship gifts to ensure intergenerational sustainability of the endowment and Webb’s full-tuition model and to fund various enhancements to the facilities on its beautiful waterfront campus, of critical importance is ongoing support of Webb’s operations. The Campaign for Webb is the perfect time for Webb’s already loyal alumni and parent donors to reflect on the exceptional value of the education they or their children received and to consider an increase in support of Webb. Every gift is important to Webb Institute.

The Campaign for Webb is a voyage worth taking. I hope you will all come on board and enjoy the trip. It will be of lasting value to you and to future generations of Webb family members.

– By Joseph Cuneo ‘57

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Aerial Webb Campus fisheye