A Short History Of William & Mary’s Mascot

William & Mary’s mascot is a griffin, half lion and half eagle. However, the university has seen quite a few mascot changes in the past 150 years. Back in 1927, the mascot was a 17 foot alligator named Cal by the head cheerleader of the football team. In the late 1930s the mascot then changed to a pony named Wampo, short for William and Mary Pony. A campus contest to name the pony was won by Beverley Boone in 1937. Wampo was stolen in 1938 and eventually sold in 1944 during a war bond auction during World War II. Throughout 1950, the mascot was a man or woman dressed in a Native American costume. This evolved into WAMI, a Native American caricature which was discarded in the late 1970’s due to its racist and demeaning tones. A new green mascot with a tri cornered hat in 1992 only lasted a week. In 2001, a new unofficial green mascot emerged with the name Colonel Ebirt (tribe spelled backwards). After the many changes in mascots, the William & Mary mascot committee continued the search from 2001-2009. Mascot ideas were reviewed by alumni, students, faculty, and staff, and a pug, griffin, king & queen, and wren were the finalists for the position. Ultimately, in 2010 the Griffin was chosen to become William & Mary’s official mascot. In 2018 the griffin claimed the name Reveley in honor of William & Mary’s 27th President; W. Taylor Reveley III. 


“History of W&M Mascots and Nicknames.” William & Mary, www.wm.edu/about/mascot/history/index.php. Accessed 25 June 2023. 

“A Mascot for the Tribe.” William & Mary, www.wm.edu/about/mascot/index.php. Accessed 25 June 2023. 

“Mascot.” Special Collections Knowledgebase, scrc-kb.libraries.wm.edu/mascot. Accessed 25 June 2023. 

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