- Alumnae Spotlight
Judy Chapman Webb '56
"Marlborough gave me the life lesson of perseverance."
Judy Chapman Webb ’56 learned discipline, perseverance, and how to have fun at Marlborough. Fun and mischief sometimes went hand in hand, Webb says. For example, she and her good friend, Patsy Weber McCulloch ’56, threw a dozen eggs at the former all-boys Black-Foxe Military Institute, which landed them in Principal Helen Mitchell’s office. “Mrs. Mitchell had a little smile on her face. I think it’s because Patsy and I missed our mark. The boys recognized my car and the eggs wound up in the street.”
Webb attended Marlborough during the 50s when “the polio vaccine was discovered, color TV came in, and Sir Edmund Hilary climbed Mt. Everest,” she says, noting the big events she remembers as a student. “They were very good economic times. Things were on the up and up.”
She also thrived as a student at Marlborough, where she developed “a love of literature” thanks to her English teacher, Miss Carnes. “She brought literature to life. She would often read aloud and had a wonderful way of describing things,” she says of Miss Carnes, who inspired her to study literature at college.
While she took many literature classes at the University of California, Berkeley, Webb ended up majoring in Modern European History. However, after college, she continued her interest in reading and writing. She worked at McGraw-Hill Publishing in Los Angeles, and then got married and moved to Northern California, where she worked as an administrative assistant for several years.
Webb started graduate school in creative writing at San Francisco State College but then had three children close together in age. Of not being able to finish her degree, Webb says, “I regret that, but at the time I was juggling too much.” That did not prevent her from ultimately finding a successful career in real estate, however. Webb began buying houses and “fixing them up,” and enlisted the help of her alumna friend Patsy McCullouch ‘56. Together they bought several houses in Hancock Park through former classmate and realtor, Lucy Toberman McBain ’56.
“We knew Hancock Park like the back of our hands having grown up there,” Webb says. After remodeling several homes in Los Angeles, she went on to build homes in the Marin County area, as well as two self-storage facilities. Now she works in property management. “It’s a very disciplined business that requires a lot of attention to detail,” she says, adding that Marlborough prepared her for the rigors of a career in real estate.
“Marlborough gave me the life lesson of perseverance. There were a lot of times when buying property was very difficult, but I kept at it, kept digging, and kept researching,” she says. “Marlborough teachers always instilled the idea of seeing things through to the end.”
Webb enjoyed her last visit to campus, about 10 years ago. “I think the School looks terrific. It’s much more modern, larger, and lighter. There was a very good energy, the same creative, youthful, and positive energy that I remember as a student,” she says.
Webb says she will always have “a warm spot” for Marlborough. “It taught me skills that have always worked very well for me in my career and in my life.”