- Race and Racism Observed In UR Sororities
- Global Citizens: How to Integrate a Curriculum
- Dining Discrimination at the University of Richmond
- Lost Cause Ideology, Found at the University of Richmond
- Students of Color in the Messenger
- Westhampton College Traditions
- Racism in UR Fraternities (1947-1985)
- Resistance & Compliance
- The Title IX Controversy at UR
- "Dark Side of College Life"
- Chinese Student Experience
- Student Life and White Supremacy
- George Modlin's Segregated University of Richmond
- Students of Color at UR (1946-1971)
- Performance & Policy
- Silence in the Archives
- Black Student Experience at UR (1970-1992)
- Faculty Response to Institutional and National Change (1968-1973)
- Building the Web
- Something Wrong with the System
- Culture of Complacency
- On Campus but Not Welcomed
- Can I Survive?
- Where I Come From, You Recognize Humanity
- The Damage of the Affirmative Action Myth
- A Feather in Their Cap: The Story of Barry Greene (R'72)
- A Campus Divided
- Freeman Digitally Remastered
- Remembering the Forgotten: Black Staff Members (1946-1971)
- Spider of Color: Korean-American Representation at the University of Richmond
- Theater History at the University of Richmond
- Digital Stories
- Oral History Collection
- Browse Items
- Subjects List
The Confederate Spider
Confederate Spider Origin
The first mention of changing Richmond’s mascot appeared in a 1934 Collegian article titled, “Rebels, Suggested as New Names for Teams.” This 1934 article discusses the potential for a team name change from 'Spiders' to 'Rebels.' The article attempts to persuade readers that a new name is needed due to the fact that the name is "insignificant" and does not "represent any particular strength, [or] physical power." A Richmond alumnus has suggested the name the Rebels, since it represents being the Capital of the Confederacy as the South rebelled against the North, and the fact that Richmond "possesses more monuments emblematic of the Civil War than any other state in the South."
Soon after in 1947 the Confederate Spider was created, as explained in the Collegian article, “UR Confederate Spider 3 Years Old.” Buddy Mayo, who was proprietor of the student shop met with Arthur Evans, a well-known caricature artist in order to create a new mascot. The result of this meeting was the already established mascot of the Spider, dressed in a confederate uniform, and thus dubbed Confederate Spidey.
Confederate Spider Throughout the Years
The Confederate Spider continued to be a mascot central to the school, and was featured in the 1949 and 1960 yearbooks, as a symbol of the University and school spirit. As seen in the pictures focused on in this exhibit the Confederate Spider is often a cartoon of a spider in a confederate uniform, however the spider soon became three dimensional. As seen in a 1967 Collegian article, John Millard, a Richmond College senior at the time, took it upon himself to create a uniform for the Confederate Spider, and act as the mascot for the school to use at sporting events and such. Millard got a confederate uniform from a museum to use as a model, and with the help of the tailor and the ROTC Department created a replica of the uniform to wear to games. Also pictured in the 1968 Yearbook is a Theta Chi float with a replica of the Confederate Spider as the main feature. However around 1972, the Confederate Spider began to be more of a controversial figure as the USGA voted against the Confederate Spider being painted onto the center of the basketball court, as more students began to vocalize that the spider could be offensive.
Confederate Spider in the Present
Although the Confederate Spider, or “General Spidey” as he was affectionately also named eventually disappeared from the spotlight, there was controversy stirred when the mascot was used by the Richmond Junior Class Cabinet for their yearly shirts. An article by the Collegian written in 2006 quotes President Max Sirkin as saying, “I’m really upset because as [the design] came under the slightest flak it was pulled.” The title of this article is also “Class cabinet forced to stop selling ‘offensive’ shirts,” which seems to question whether or not this symbol of a Confederate Soldier should even be deemed as offensive.