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 nearly ten different elementary schools in the Salem/Keizer School District.
William B. Webber Scholarships were established to honor and encourage female-identifying students who are majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, and Physics. There are two primary components to the scholarships: science outreach and laboratory research.
Outreach: For one semester, Webber Scholars take their enthusiasm and knowledge in their field of study into elementary school classrooms via the Willamette Science Outreach Program (WSOP). The Scholars’ task is to foster scientific curiosity in the school classrooms, serve as mentors that pique scientific curiosity in the children, and provide encouragement to pursue further studies in STEM fields.
Summer Research: Each Webber Scholar participates in scientific research in the laboratory of a Willamette University professor in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, or physics. Webber Scholars carry out a research project and present their results at the culmination of the summer program. The summer research appointment follows the same schedule, rules, and application deadlines as Willamette’s Science Collaborative Research Program.[LINK]
Mr. Webber saw his scholarship program as an opportunity to provide young children with female role models and mentors, while recognizing, honoring and financially supporting the scholars as they earn their science degrees from Willamette University and engage in collaborative laboratory research projects.