W&M Mascot Committee: Keep the ideas coming

  • Mascot SearchNow with less than a month left until the deadline for submissions, the William & Mary Mascot Search Committee continues to seek ideas for a symbol worthy enough to represent the alma mater of a nation.

    Mascot Search
What do a beech tree, squirrel and jester have in common? They've all been submitted as ideas for William & Mary's next mascot.

Now with less than a month left until the deadline for submissions, the William & Mary Mascot Search Committee continues to seek ideas for a symbol worthy enough to represent the alma mater of a nation.

Since the call first went out in April, more than 260 ideas have been submitted. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2009.

Included in the submissions have been nine types of birds, various other animals, food items, characters, symbols and people -- both dead and alive.

"The range of suggestions we have received to date is a testament to the creativity and commitment of the William & Mary community," said Susan T. Evans, a member of the mascot search committee. "We have a lot of great options to consider."

Most of the ideas so far - 53 percent - have come from William & Mary alumni. The second largest pool of submissions - 27 percent - came from current students. Faculty, staff and parents have also submitted ideas.

The search for a mascot began in early 2009 after William & Mary President Taylor Reveley announced the formation of a search committee, which would be chaired by Director of Athletics Terry Driscoll. The committee includes alumni, students, faculty and staff.

 "This has been a great process so far - there is so much interest among the entire College community," said Driscoll, adding that though a new mascot is being sought, the "Tribe" nickname will remain. "The goal is for the committee to bring final recommendations on a new mascot to the president during the fall semester."

Throughout the process, the search committee has been keeping people informed via their Web site, blog and Facebook page and Twitter feed. The sites have all generated a great amount of interest in the search. The Facebook group has more than 437 members, more than 1,032 people are following the Twitter feed, and the search Web site has received more than 42,665 hits and 10,646 unique visitors.

Recently, the committee also launched a YouTube site. Under the site's favorites is a video created by Eric Pesola at the William & Mary Alumni Association during Young Guarde weekend. In the video, recent graduates sound off on their favorite mascot ideas.

The current featured video on the YouTube site was created by Spencer Milne of William & Mary Athletics, and includes a cameo by the former, unofficial College mascot "Colonel Ebirt." Ebirt is "Tribe" spelled backwards.

Ebirt has been voicing his opinion on the mascot search via other means, as well. He has a Facebook page and a blog. Though some have suggested bringing him back, he wrote in his blog that, though flattered, "... my days in the 'burg are over."

The search continues to draw a lot of interest, and the mascot committee expects the number of submissions to top 300 by the deadline date.

"William & Mary has many talented alumni; my guess is, there are more fabulous ideas out there," says Evans.

Instructions and guidelines for submissions may be found on the Mascot Search Web site.