On Tuesday, October 2, Hefner and his wife, MeiLi, visited The Webb Schools for a full day of classroom visits and a special convocation for students and faculty. The Hefners first attended Honors Biology class where students were learning about natural selection and conducting a lab on the same subject. Next, they participated in an in-class debate on the issue of fracking and natural gas extraction with John Lawrence’s AP Environmental Science class.
Robert Hefner has a long and distinguished career in natural gas exploration and helping shape energy policies of the United States. His recent documentary, “The Grand Energy Transition,” was shown to the Webb community and followed by a round-table discussion during a recent formal dinner on campus.
Under a backdrop of Ray Alf’s portrait, Hefner’s mentor at Webb, he spoke and then took questions from the Webb community. Hefner was warmly received by the students and faculty who gathered, evidenced by their engaging questions on the subject of the future of America’s energy production and technological advancement in natural gas extraction.
Taylor Stockdale introduced Robert Hefner with the following: “I think it was back in 1995, one of the first peccary dinners we ever had. I looked up on the stage and saw four of the great educators here at Webb. I saw Malcolm McKenna, Ray Alf, Dr. Lofgren, and Robert Hefner. Robert, you stood there and honored your mentor, Ray Alf, on his 90th birthday that night, by recalling that he had taught you to think differently at the age of fifteen; that he had taught you to look at your role in the world differently, and that at that moment he had a lasting effect on your life. I remember Ray’s response to you was to say that he learned as much from his students as they learned from him. That’s the true essence of the Webb experience, for me. We have great students and teachers living and working alongside each other, and that’s the power of mentorship that we should think about tonight when Mr. Hefner speaks.”