2008 Phoenix Mascot Debuts
In spring 2008, the Phoenix, the College's first-ever mascot, made its debut with the help of a team of students - Melissa Grigsby '09, Dan Hodson '09, Juliana Macri '09, Scott Storm '08, and Joel Tolliver '10 - to portray it. The debut was the culmination of an initiative led largely by Kyle White '08. Phineas the Phoenix has delighted crowds at athletic contests, Commencement, Alumni Weekend, and other campus events ever since.
The phoenix has deep roots in Swarthmore lore. When the College's iconic Parrish Hall was gutted by fire in 1881, it was immediately rebuilt, rising, some noted, from the ashes like the bird found in Egyptian and Greek mythology. Thereafter, The Phoenix became the name of the campus newspaper.
An attempt by alums to choose a mascot during the 1995-96 academic year tried but failed to identify one everyone could agree on. Perhaps it was just as well, given the choices at the time: the Swarming Earthworms, Garnet Foxes, Griffins, Wild Kangaroos, Mighty Oaks, Little Quakers, or No Mascot.