Cheerleading at William and Mary

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Cheerleaders at William & Mary were first used for home football games and have evolved over the years to include other sports as well. In the past 80 years, there have been all-male, all-female, co-ed, and Freshman cheerleading squads at the College. The size of the squad has changed over time as well, from 3 in 1924 to 38 in 2008.


1924 - Cheerleaders were deemed a permanent organization made up of 3 male students: a Senior, a Junior, and a Sophomore

1926 - Women at the College were allowed to have their own section at home football games to cheer

1927 - The first woman cheerleader made the squad


1938 - The first all-female squad debuted for William and Mary home football games.


1950 - The Pep Club was formed as a separate spirit club from the cheerleaders


1961 - A Freshman squad made up of all women debuted


Issues of the Flat Hat:

  • Flat Hat, 1/18/1924, pg. 1, 8.
  • Flat Hat, 10/29/1926, pg. 1.
  • Flat Hat, 10/27/1927, pg. 3.
  • Flat Hat, 10/11/1938, pg. 1.
  • Flat Hat, 5/16/1950, pg. 12.
  • Flat Hat, 9/29/1961, pg. 6.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

  • University Archives Photograph Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, William & Mary.
    • "Athletics--Cheerleaders" prints folder
    • "Athletics--Cheerleaders, Nov. 1986" slides folder
    • P1989.110 Print of two cheerleaders tumbling on the football field, c. 1937. Black & white, 7 1/2" x 9 1/2" print on an 8 1/2" x 11" mat.
    • P1998.194 Print of cheerleaders at a football game in Zable Stadium, c. 1970s. Photo by Thomas L. Williams. Black & white, 8" x 10" print.
    • P1989.186 Print of views of audiences at rainy football games, c. 1970. Black & white prints.
  • Acc. 2008.01: Cheerleaders Scrapbooks, 1983-1989, University Archives Scrapbook Collection,Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, William & Mary.
  • Additional results for the search term "cheerleader" in the SCRC Collections Database:
  • The Flat Hat
    • Photos of Cheerleaders in The Flat Hat
      • 9/27/1929, pg. 7
      • 9/24/1940, pg. 1
      • 3/9/1948, pg. 12
      • 5/16/1950, pg. 12
      • 2/16/1954, pg. 1
      • 10/25/1955, pg. 8
      • 4/21/1961, pg. 5
      • 10/6/1961, pg. 15
      • 2/4/1983, pg. 23
      • 11/4//1988, pg. 20
      • 2/2/1996, pg. 1
  • Honorary cheerleader names, William & Mary News, 10/17/78, pg 3.

External Links

Need help?

To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in William & Mary Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

Questions? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at or 757-221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at William & Mary.

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.