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    The mascot's head was discovered on campus Friday.
Pranksters return Griffin head

The head of William & Mary’s mascot, the Griffin, found its way home Friday night. The large, green and white fluffy eagle shaped costume head was spotted by a passerby on campus and reported to William & Mary Police (WMPD).

“The Griffin is an important part of our Tribe family,” said William & Mary Athletics Director Terry Driscoll. “We are thrilled to have it whole again.”

The costume head was discovered missing May 29 by staff at Tribe Athletics, who manage the mascot’s appearances. An appeal went out the same week to the William & Mary community asking for its return. Just the head was missing, the rest of the costume remained in the large duffel bags used to store it, said Spencer Milne, assistant athletics director for marketing, promotions and ticket services.

The Griffin head was found near the Sunken Garden resting atop of the Thomas Jefferson statue located between Washington and McGlothlin-Street Halls. The costume head was largely undamaged, and there was no damage reported to the statue.

The timing of the discovery was a surprise; few tips had come into WMPD in the days since the appeal for its return was made. Detectives said there would be no ongoing investigation. Interim Police Chief Ed Schardein announced at the time the head went missing that a timely return of the costume piece would result in no criminal charges being brought.

The Griffin was announced as W&M’s new mascot in 2010. Since that time, the mythical creature that combines the head of an eagle and the body of a lion has become a significant part of the William & Mary family, performing at both Tribe sports games and other signature events on campus and around the Williamsburg community.

Milne said the costume head was returned in time for the Griffin to make its next scheduled appearance at an employee appreciation event June 17.

“We’ll need to do a little cleaning, but the head is in good shape and the Griffin will be able to help celebrate the service of William & Mary’s many dedicated employees.”