I’m going to be totally honest- I had no idea what a Griffin was before I came to William and Mary. But to be fair, a mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head of an eagle isn’t all that common. At first, I struggled to figure out how exactly this odd creature had anything to do with William and Mary. It’s definitely not you’re typical kind of mascot.
So, on my quest to learn more about our mascot, I checked out the W&M website. I found a little blurb hailing the Griffin:
The Griffin aptly symbolizes our Tribe athletes. The lion’s strength and the eagle’s vision suggest the union of strength with intelligence that characterizes more than 500 Tribe athletes, who compete on 23 Division I teams, while simultaneously thriving in a rigorous academic program that has no place to hide.
That made sense…kind of. But I still had no idea what the Griffin symbolized historically. So next, I turned to Google for an explanation. The best description (oddly enough) came from a website called KidzWorld:
Griffins are usually heroic symbols. They are well known for their speed, ability to fly and having eyes like an eagle, as well as the strength and courage of a lion. In Assyria the griffin and the dragon were symbols of wisdom.
And now it starts to make sense. Strength? Wisdom? Courage? Those are all attributes that W&M students strive for every day. Whether it’s in the classroom, on the field, or in the community, W&M students are constantly trying to succeed. At the same time, we’ve got our own little quirks, just like the Griffin.
Now, it seems strange that the mascot for W&M could be anything except the Griffin. It’s unique, and represents our campus community perfectly. Cheering with our beloved mascot at events is something you have to look forward to! Get excited!
– Erin Spencer