Swarthmore Announces Finalists to Form First-Ever Mascot Team

Alisa Giardinelli

Swarthmore Announces Finalists to
Form First-Ever Mascot Team

by Alisa Giardinelli
03/31/2008

Swarthmore's newly chosen mascot, the famed mythical phoenix, now has a team to portray it. Based on their performances during a competition in which they demonstrated their athletic, talent, and pep talents, they are:

Phoenix mascot  

Melissa Grigsby '09, a biology and psychology major from West Chester, Pa.; Dan Hodson '09, a psychology major from Trumbull, Conn.; Juliana Macri '09, a psychobiology major from Durham, N.H.; Scott Storm '08, an English literature and education major from Stroudsburg, Pa.; and Joel Tolliver '10, a computer science major from Macon, Ga.

"We've really found a very talented group of people who will be highly motivated to promote the mascot and Swarthmore pride!" says Kyle White '08, a political science and economics major from Millsboro, Del., and a leader of the initiative. The Phoenix will represent the College during athletic contests, campus-wide events, and is also expected to support philanthropic efforts in the broader community.

Last fall, Kyle and a committee of students, faculty members, staff, and alumni began the process of determining how best to develop and introduce the mascot to the campus. They built on the momentum generated by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and others who led an initiative over the previous academic year to gauge interest in its creation and selection.

The phoenix has deep roots in Swarthmore College lore. When the College's iconic Parrish Hall was gutted by fire in 1881, it was immediately rebuilt, rising, as it were, from the ashes like the mythical bird. Thereafter, The Phoenix became the name of the campus newspaper. The animal is found in Egyptian and Greek mythology - most frequently as a perennial bird that reproduces itself by rising from the ashes of a fire of its own making. An unrelated Chinese phoenix, known as feng-huang, is a symbol of high virtue and grace, representing the harmonic union of yin and yang.