One fine spring day in April of 2010, William & Mary President Taylor Reveley joined the Tribe Athletics Department with an ancient and mythical power by proclaiming, "Get me the Griffin!"
Since that day, the Griffin - a creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion - has roamed the arenas, sidelines and athletics events as the university's mascot. It has proudly served as a symbol that united strength with intelligence and harkens to the deep roots of William & Mary in American history.
On June 12, this iconic creature was recreated as "Reveley," in honor of the school's 27th President, William & Mary Director of Athletics Samantha K. Huge announced.
"To have a Griffin named Reveley is a rare and wonderful privilege," stated Reveley, who is retiring as president on July 1. "I had no idea this might ever come to pass when I said, ‘Get me the Griffin’ so many years ago. Truly, the Griffin is the perfect mascot for William & Mary, a College created by a royal charter in London (thus the body of a lion) and later so instrumental in the American Revolution (thus the head of an eagle)."
The surprise announcement came near the end of a gala celebration for Reveley and his wife, Helen, who served the university with distinction for more than 20 years, the last 10 as W&M's first family.
Huge read from a proclamation that resolved, "The entire Tribe Family - its student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and fans - join in commending W. Taylor Reveley III on the occasion of his retirement. Therefore, in honor and recognition of his outstanding leadership and his contributions to William & Mary athletics and the university writ large, the mascot eponymously known as 'The Griffin' is forevermore named 'Reveley!'"
The Tribe athletics program has thrived over the last decade, with teams earning 52 conference championships and making 37 NCAA postseason appearances. Additionally, W&M athletics posted the nation's best graduation rate among NCAA Division I public universities in every year of Reveley's tenure, reaching an all-time high of 88 percent in 2016-17.