The votes are in. The University of Richmond’s spider mascot is sprouting new legs and a tougher persona.
Meet WebstUR, an eight-legged spider with removable webbing and flashing LED eyes. WebstUR has a custom-designed, high-powered web shooter that can launch t-shirts and toys to the highest seats in Robins Stadium and The Robins Center, as well as uniforms to match the basketball and football teams and a chest plate for street attire.
WebstUR will be revealed "in person" to the campus community at Reunion on June 4.
The new spider on the block is the result of a yearlong redesign of the University’s mascot. Most recently, Richmond students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends took to the polls in February to choose between three looks — a ferocious warrior spider, a realistic spider, or the existing mascot. More than 6,000 votes were cast, and the tough spider pulled in nearly 51 percent to become the new face of the Spiders.
“For me, the mascot represents the student body,” says Caroline Vincent, ’11, who participated in early focus groups discussing the mascot makeover. “It symbolizes our passion for Spider sports and our motivation to keep cheering. [The redesign] was a student concern and I hope that students will embrace the new mascot.”
The update is also an opportunity establish a new personality and new traditions for the mascot.
“The fierce spider is more intimidating and will show opponents that the Spiders are serious competition,” says Kelly Padden, ’11, who also contributed to mascot focus groups. “It portrays the competitive energy that is characteristic of our students and athletes. And the costume has accessories, like sweatbands and uniforms, that fans could mimic.”
During the redesign process, the University also learned that the name “Spidey” — an informal name used in the past — is trademarked by Marvel Comics. While choosing the new look, voters also had the chance to suggest names and, ultimately, WebstUR rose to the top of the list and became the mascot’s new moniker.
“With the recent success of our athletes, the school could use a new face to cheer our teams to victory,” says Padden. “I hope it makes our students, alums, faculty, and staff even more proud to be Spiders.”