Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

Article "Spider man: The University's mascot has a long, varied history"

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Title

Article "Spider man: The University's mascot has a long, varied history"

Description

This Collegian article gives a brief history of the University of Richmond spider mascot. It outlines the three competing origin stories for the "unusual mascot that Richmond students have defended since 1894." Originally, the Richmond team had been called the Colts, but a professional baseball team with the same name came to Richmond in the early 1890s. The three theories for the new name include 1) A comparison to the Cleveland Spiders at a 1893 baseball game, 2) a comparison to spiders for not allowing a fly ball" to get by at a game against William & Mary, and 3) a sports writer yelling "You guys look like a bunch of spiders trying to play ball, published in the 1897 yearbook. The history goes on to include information about a challenge to the mascot in the July 1941 Alumni Bulletin, where 1913 alumus W.F. "Tip" Saunders called for renaming the team either the "Confederates" or the "Rebels" to tie the university to Richmond City's history as the former capital of the Confederacy. The spider won by "an overwhelming majority." This history also states that "initially, the spider dressed in a Confederate general's uniform," though in reality the mascot did not wear this uniform until the late 1940s. After the Confederate spider, there was a "'live' spider mascot which resembled the comic book hero 'Spiderman." In the 1980s, te costume became more ferocious. As of the 1997 writing, there were three forms of the spider: One, a "sleek, insect-like spider" found on license plates, second a "grinning spider" us for University publications, and finally a "fuzzy, friendly spider that walks around encouraging school spirity." The history concludes by noting that University officials describe the spider as representing "success, good judgement, and a painstaking perseverance." The writer cites the Virginia Baptist Historical Society for most of the historical information.

Source

Luster, Julie Autumn. "Spider man: The University's mascot has a long, varied history." The University of Richmond Collegian 84, no. 7 (October 9, 1997): 13. https://collegian.richmond.edu/?a=d&d=COL19971009.2.34&srpos=5&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-------

Publisher

The Collegian, University of Richmond

Date

1997-10-09

Format

Language

English

Type

Identifier

Collegian84.7.13-19971009.jpg

Coverage

Richmond (Va.)

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Citation

Luster, Julie Autumn, “Article "Spider man: The University's mascot has a long, varied history",” Race & Racism at the University of Richmond, accessed June 25, 2019, https://memory.richmond.edu/items/show/2892.