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March 23, 2010, Volume 56, No. 26

A Celebration of the Life of John W. McCoubrey

A memorial gathering will be held for John W. McCoubrey, professor emeritus of the history of art, on Saturday, April 3 at 3 p.m. The memorial will be held in the Ben Franklin Room on the second floor of Houston Hall. Dr. McCoubrey passed away February 6, at age 86 (Almanac February 16, 2010). Contributions in Dr. McCoubrey’s honor can be sent to the Campbell-McCoubrey Student Travel Fund, History of Art Department, University of Pennsylvania. For information, call Brooke Seitinsons: (215) 746-2066.


Mr. Webb, Biology 

Webb, Rodney

Rodney F. Webb, building administrator for the biology department, passed away February 17; he was 44.

Mr. Webb grew up in Philadelphia and attended West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys, and later the Wharton School. He was first employed by the department of biology as a part-time summer worker during his high school years; he began working full-time as a shipping and receiving clerk in 1983. As his proficiency grew, Mr. Webb progressed rapidly from building services assistant in 1985, to building supervisor in 1986, to building administrator in 1991.

The office of the biology chair commented that, “Mr. Webb possessed an encyclopedic knowledge about the care and feeding of complex science buildings. With unceasing cheer and infinite diplomacy, he educated no fewer than six biology chairs on everything from plumbing to fume hoods to animal care. His expertise was even more remarkable when one considers that his five buildings varied greatly in age from Leidy Labs (opened in 1910) to Lynch Labs (opened in 2006).”

“Mr. Webb will be remembered for his good humor and optimism, ability to solve even the most complex building problems, and his desire always to achieve only the best outcome for all biology faculty, students, and staff.”

Mr. Webb was active in community service, and mentored at St. Gabriel’s Home for Boys. His love of sports led him to coach basketball at Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School, Narberth’s Summer Basketball League, and Widener University.

Mr. Webb is survived by his daughter, Tiffany Webb; his son, Maurice Garrett; his siblings, Lesley Easley, Lynne Bard, Kathryn Trimble, and Daniel Saunders; and a host of aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and co-workers “who will all mourn his passing along with those of us at Penn fortunate enough to have called him a friend.”

A memorial service will be held for Mr. Webb on Friday, April 2 in Leidy Labs, Room 10 at 11:15 a.m.


To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.


Almanac - March 23, 2010, Volume 56, No. 26