UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND ─ The University of Richmond is turning arachnophobia into arachnophoria as it celebrates Spider Day on Nov. 1.

Spiders are more than just a name at the University of Richmond. UR is the only university with a spider mascot, and the eight-legged creatures permeate every aspect of campus culture — from academics to athletics.

With an alumni base of nearly 50,000, University of Richmond will celebrate its large network of Spiders on and off campus on Spider Day Nov. 1 as part of Homecoming Weekend. 

Once celebrated in March alongside the existing National Save a Spider Day, UR has put its own spin on this holiday, and plans to celebrate National Spider Day each year the Friday before Homecoming. This change will ensure students are on campus and allow the community to celebrate alongside Homecoming events.

“Pairing National Spider Day with Homecoming is a perfect fit,” said Ronald A. Crutcher, University of Richmond president. “No matter where they are, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends can show Spider Pride and enthusiasm for being part of the Spider family.”

Alumni regional groups will host National Spider Day celebrations in cities across the country. Everyone is encouraged to wear their red and blue Spider gear on Nov. 1 and share their photos on social media using the hashtags #SpiderPride and #SpidersEverywhere. Anyone on campus can access a special Snapchat geofilter.

Spider Board is hosting a Spider Day street festival on the walkway outside Tyler Haynes Commons, which will include local vendors, food trucks, and student art. The event, open to all Spiders and community members, will showcase art from students, staff, and alumni. A highlight of the festival is a community art project in which attendees will be able to participate.

Jennifer O’Donnell, manager of biological laboratories and animal care expert, oversees the care of the Spiders men's basketball team's live spider mascot, Tarrant the tarantula, as well as about a dozen other types of spiders.

“Spider Day is an opportunity to extend beyond the school spirit components and share some of our love of biology and the spiders with alumni, students, and the community,” said, O’Donnell, who will have a few of the live spiders in her care on display during the Homecoming football game.

Learn more about UR’s live spiders in this video and more about Spider Day here.