After Tribe Football defeated the University of Virginia in September, hundreds of elated students gathered in the Sunken Garden for a midnight, impromptu pep rally. This marked the beginning of a new buzz on campus, a buzz none other than the Tribal Fever.
According to its Web site, the Tribal Fever is the “official student fan club of William & Mary athletics.” The club’s goal is to “create and maintain a culture of school spirit centered on athletic events and expanding into the College community as a whole.”
Co-founders of “the fever,” Chase Hathaway ’10, and Alex Ball ’10 recognized the need for an organized club for the support of William & Mary athletics after a poorly attended basketball game last year. Since the Tribal Fever launched in September, the club has grown to include almost 300 students on campus.
“I can’t speak enough to the significant role the athletic department has played in the foundation and the growth of our organization. We couldn’t do this without them,” said Hathaway.
The fever has found support from not only students, but campus faculty and staff, along with sponsors within the Williamsburg community. At Tribal Tip-off this year, the Tribal Fever celebrated the start of basketball season with sponsors from First Market Bank, Bakers Crust, Buffalo Wild Wings, Z-pizza, Corner Pocket and many others.
Members of the fever receive exclusive benefits and community discounts, the best seats at games and free tailgates. This weekend, the club will be passing out 6,000 rally towels at the University of New Hampshire game.
“One of the things I’ve noticed this year is that on game days everyone on campus is wearing green and gold or their Tribal Fever shirts,”said member Brittney Calloway ’11.
The Tribal Fever will be busing students to the Tribe football game in Richmond on Nov. 21 and encourages all students to sign-up.
“There is a renewed excitement on campus for Tribe Athletics. I love it,” said member Richard Walsh ’10.
Yesterday, the Tribal Fever launched a new remodeled Web site for its members. The cost of membership for students is $10, which includes all the benefits, an exclusive membership card and “Catch the Fever” T-shirt. The fan club has also created the Silver Club for off campus community members, alumni and fans across the nation. Cost of membership for the Silver Club is $20. The club seeks to expand nationally and perpetuate the spirit of Tribe pride.
When asked about the lasting effects of the Tribal Fever on campus, Chase noted, “I hope that it will continue for years to come. Of course we want people to enjoy sporting events and hang out with friends, but people are beginning to see the Fever as a culture of loving this College."