Griffin makes national news

  • Griffin goes nationalW&M's new mascot, the Griffin, has taken the press by storm.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Griffin goes national
It's been a heck of a debut for the Griffin. Announced Tuesday as the new Tribe mascot at William & Mary, this mythical beast has taken the press by storm.

Part bald eagle and part lion and, according to the Griffin, part amazing, the new Tribe mascot has been featured on everything from the front page of the student paper the Flat Hat to a segment Thursday night by William & Mary alum Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

In between, stories of the Griffin have made their way to the Web sites of national media outlets such as the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, U.S. News & World Report, SportingNews.com and even an open letter from the Golden Griffin mascot at Canisius College on USA Today online. A story picked up by the Associated Press also went national and ran on ESPN.com. Locally, the Griffin was featured in stories by local television networks WTKR-3, WAVY-10 and WVEC-13, who attended Tuesday's pep rally and broadcast live segments. Local papers the Daily Press, Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Virginian-Pilot also covered the debut of new Tribe rallying figure.

The new mascot has made big news on campus as well. More than 600 people attended the announcement in William & Mary Hall's Kaplan arena where the selection was revealed. The event followed a 14-month search for a new mascot. In February of 2009, President Taylor Reveley appointed a committee of alumni, students, faculty and staff to conduct a comprehensive search for the new Tribe mascot. The idea was to find a unifying symbol for campus and something people could have fun with. Following more than 800 submitted ideas - including more than 300 unique ideas from Tribe faithful, the committee narrowed the finalists to the Griffin, the King and Queen, the Phoenix, a Pug and the Wren.

The final selection of the Griffin had been a secret until Tuesday's event at William & Mary Hall. By Wednesday afternoon, the #tribemascot was one of the most popular "trending topics" in the D.C. area and videos produced by Tribe Athletics and the W&M News were also featured on the separate blogs on the Washington Post online. And by Thursday this "rare pantless tailed eagle" was made famous by Stewart '84 and his Comedy Central comedy team.