William & Mary Athletics today announced plans for Tribe Plaza, a new gathering point for fans and alumni at the entrance of Walter J. Zable Stadium.
The plaza, located just off of Alumni Drive at Richmond Road, will be unveiled during a public ceremony on Friday, Oct. 19 at approximately 5:30 p.m., following the homecoming parade.
The focal point of the plaza will be a seven-by-five-foot bronze Griffin sculpture, resting on a six- foot high concrete and brick plinth. The sculpture will be surrounded by a semicircle of flagpoles.
“One of the priorities of our athletics department is to create more opportunities to bring our friends, fans and alumni together,” said William & Mary Director of Athletics Samantha K. Huge. “We want to see Tribe Plaza grow into an iconic campus location, with the fierce, bronze sculpture of our revitalized Griffin as its centerpiece.”
The artwork, which was purchased at auction with private funds via the Tribe Club, the fundraising arm of William & Mary Athletics, brings its own history to campus.
The piece was originally commissioned in 2012 to honor the life and achievements of a faculty member at another academic institution. Last year, William & Mary Athletics learned the sculpture was up for auction. Knowing that few schools share the Griffin as a mascot, the university seized the opportunity to provide it a new home.
Fittingly, there are royal ties to the piece as well, as the Griffin is a replica of a pair of bronze statues cast in 1861 to adorn a palace in Berlin, Germany.
Fundraising will soon begin for future additions to the plaza, which will include a finished patio of exposed agate and stylized bench seating.