Way back in 1957, a group of 40 Lehigh undergraduate students (all men at the time!) petitioned the Committee on Social Activities for recognition as a campus “living group” that would provide social opportunities for its members. This group’s members grew to become staples in the first year residence halls, serving as counselors and role models for the residents.
The Gryphon Society’s name is inspired by the gryphon, a popular beast in Greek mythology. The half-eagle half-lion creature is known for having guarded the gold of ancient Scythia. The founders of the Gryphon Society proposed the name because of the similarities between gryphons and the role of Lehigh’s Gryphons on campus – No, we’re not beasts! It’s because we seek to guard and protect the “gold,” which is, of course, the student population at Lehigh.
The Role of a Gryphon:
The Gryphon Society has evolved in many ways in the 50+ years since its inception. The group has more than doubled in size, consisting of 100 Gryphons, and members now live in both first year residence halls and upperclassmen residence halls serving more than 2,400 on-campus residents.
In addition to evolving in size and reach, the role of the Gryphon has also expanded from the original “counselor” role. Today, Gryphons serve as advocates, mentors, role models, policy enforcers, administrators, programmers, resources, and leaders for the students residing in Lehigh’s residence halls.
Gryphons seek to improve the residential experiences of Lehigh undergraduate students by serving an immediate source of support and assistance, facilitating community development, and promoting a safe and healthy residential environment.
Check out this video to hear some Gryphons talking about what being a Gryphon means to them: