August 9, 2020

Sammy D. Eagle: Time to Fly

Have you heard? There’s a new bird in town.

Students take advantage of some camera time with UMW's longtime mascot, Sammy D. Eagle in 2013. The old Sammy will pass the torch to his successor during tomorrow evening's Mary Rock event on Ball Circle. Photo by Katie Koth.

Students take advantage of some camera time with UMW’s longtime mascot, Sammy D. Eagle in 2013. The old Sammy will pass the torch to his successor during tomorrow evening’s Mary Rock event on Ball Circle. Photo by Katie Koth.

The old Sammy D. Eagle is retiring after 33 years on the job, and UMW is welcoming a new one. His feathers are fluffed, his beak is buffed, and he’s ready to fly. Fans will get a first glimpse of Mary Washington’s fresh-faced mascot tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. when he makes his début during the Mary Rock event (details below) on Ball Circle.

Filled with school spirit, the new Sammy is ready to soar, with Homecoming high jinks, social media savvy, new dance moves and more. But he’s got some big feet to fill.

The old Sammy has been supporting Division III athletes and attending university-wide events since becoming Mary Washington’s official mascot in fall of 1986. That’s lots of Homecomings and Reunion Weekends, lots of pumping up crowds and posing for pictures, lots of hugs and high-fives. Tomorrow, he’ll pass the torch to his successor.

We can’t show you new Sammy’s face until then, but below, he opens up – at least a little – about and his plans for shaking things up across campus.

Q: What Mary Washington tradition are you most looking forward to?
A: Homecoming! And welcoming generations of proud alumni back to the nest.

UMW students pose with Sammy D. Eagle at a baseball field dedication in September 1988. Photo by Barry Fitzgerald. The Centennial Image Collection, UMW Digital Archives.

UMW students pose with Sammy D. Eagle at a baseball field dedication in September 1988. Photo by Barry Fitzgerald. The Centennial Image Collection, UMW Digital Archives.

Q: What prepared you for the job of Mary Washington mascot?
A: I’ve admired old Sammy for years and plan to borrow plenty of the signature moves that everyone loves. It seems like a job I can really wrap my wings around.

Q: What are you looking forward to most about being mascot?
A: Supporting Division III athletes and the entire UMW community, and spreading my infectious Eagle spirit through campus. See you on the Battleground!

Q: What do you think will be most challenging?
A: Juggling all my many fan bases – students, student-athletes, alumni, fans at the games, community members, prospective Eagles. And finding Mary Washington spirit wear in my size.

Q: Are you a Devil or a Goat?
A: That’s a silly question. I’m an eagle.

Q: Did the old Sammy give you any advice?
A: Just wing it.

The Mary Rock event takes place tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 18, 6 -8 p.m., on Ball Circle. There will be free food trucks, a beer garden, outdoor games, with the unveiling of the new Sammy at 6:30, and a concert featuring Indie pop band Smallpools at 7 p.m.