“Young girls are an untapped resource in science and engineering, and therefore they need encouragement and positive role models so that they will continue to pursue their studies in these areas.” (Bill Webber)
William Webber was deeply committed to the enrichment of community life, believing that it is the duty of each citizen to help make the world a better place. He considered himself a team player who volunteered his time not for recognition, but to give back to society. He became a trustee of Willamette University in 1963, becoming a Life Trustee in 1996. The Webber program began in the 1995/96 academic year and so far has served a total of eight different elementary schools in the Salem/Keizer School District. In 2011 it expanded to serve two schools per academic year.
He established the William B. Webber Scholarships to honor and encourage women studying in the sciences. Each year, eight female biology, chemistry, environmental science and physics majors who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable in their area of research take the Willamette Science Outreach Program (WSOP) into 5th grade classrooms. Their task is to serve as mentors to foster scientific curiosity and understanding, and to provide encouragement to pursue an interest in science, math, and engineering. Mr. Webber saw his scholarship program as an opportunity to provide especially young girls with a female role model and mentor, while recognizing, honoring and financially supporting the scholars as they earn their science degrees from Willamette University.