Mascot Committee unveils five finalists

Special audio: Terry Driscoll discusses finalists for Tribe mascot on TIDE radio.

Mythical creatures, royalty, a four-legged friend and a bird whose name fits nicely within the history of the nation's second oldest college. The search for a new William & Mary mascot is down to five finalists and there's something for everyone - a Griffin, King and Queen, the Phoenix, a Pug and the Wren.

The William & Mary Mascot Committee unveiled its finalists at the search Web site Tuesday morning. The committee, which includes, alumni, students, faculty and staff, will take feedback on the finalists until 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2010. The finalists were culled from more than 800 submissions - including more than 300 unique suggestions - for the Tribe mascot.

"The process achieved our goal of broad participation from the Tribe family," said William & Mary Athletics Director Terry Driscoll, who serves as chair of the Mascot Committee. "The proposed concepts ran the gamut of possible mascots with creativity, thoughtfulness and humor. The committee worked very hard to reach this point and we're very pleased to unveil these five finalists."

Last semester, William & Mary President Taylor Reveley appointed the committee of alumni, students, faculty and staff to coordinate the mascot selection process. The Tribe nickname will remain but the committee's charge was to find a mascot that would serve as a unifying figure on campus, and also allow the William & Mary community to have some fun.

And the new mascot must look good on T-shirts and in costume during sporting events. Torch Creative, a Dallas-based design company, created preliminary concept drawings for each finalist. Torch Creative specializes in team branding and corporate identity and has worked with a number of universities, including George Washington University and Vanderbilt University.

In addition to the drawings, the committee released descriptions of each finalist. In alphabetical order:

Griffin

 

 

 

Griffin-- This concept is the griffin, a mythical creature merging the Bald Eagle (representing the new America and the Eagle of the Chesapeake Bay) and the English Lion representing the English Monarchy (Coat of Arms). William & Mary is surely a national treasure and griffins have been known throughout history as the guardians of treasure.
King and Queen

 

 

 

King and Queen --This concept is King William III and Queen Mary II serving as joint mascots representing the historic namesakes of the College. Their royal king and queen costumes could make use of the W&M colors of green, gold and silver. The costumes could reflect the period in which these monarchs lived, or their dress could be more modernized.
Phoenix

 

 

 

Phoenix--This concept is the phoenix, a mythical and noble bird composed of golden fiery wings and body. The phoenix never dies, but is reborn to endure throughout the centuries, and can regenerate, healing any wound. In James Blair's presidential portrait, the phoenix is painted in the background next to the Wren Building to represent W&M's immortal spirit and resurgence after the fire of 1705.
Pug

 

 

 

Pug -- This concept is the pug, a breed of small dogs with wrinkly, short-muzzled faces and curled tails. Queen Mary II and King William III were both the proud owners of pugs. Our pug mascot could be named either William or Mary and the pug mascot costume could include a crown. The Pug's motto, multum in parvo, means "a lot in a little," referring to the Pug's great big personality.
Wren Wren -- This concept is the wren, a bird species found in Virginia. The name "Wren" also refers to and honors the historic Wren Building. The Wren Building is central to William & Mary, the only college is the U.S. still bound to the Royal Charter under which it was founded in 1693. The wren bird is small and perky with a powerful voice out of proportion to its size.

 

In addition to the mascot Web site, the committee maintains a blog, Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on the mascot search. It took submissions between April and June of last year and then narrowed the group to the current finalists. More than 22,000 people have visited the mascot Web site.

"President Reveley wanted us to find different ways to reach members of the College community and really find a mascot that we can rally behind," Driscoll said. "We hope everyone will continue to take part in this process over the next month and offer us feedback on each selection."