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History of Jonathan, The University Mascot

 

         November 9, 1934, Connecticut State College students pull off the first ever “ram-napping” incident against Rhode Island State College. Ramses II, the RI Mascot was kidnapped right before the annual football game involving the two schools. This event sparks the editor of the CSC Newspaper, then called the Campus to pose the question “Why don’t WE have a mascot”. The response was overwhelming in support, and the Connecticut Husky was born. Why a Husky? Well, isn’t it obvious? “I have spent some time in the frigid cold Storrs Hills and suspect that the Husky is the only animal capable or fit to survive there,” said a reporter for the Hartford Courant.

         

Jonathan I was the first and only mascot to have a colored coat. He was a black and grey pedigree pup whose grandfather journeyed to the North Pole with Admiral Robert E. Peary in 1909.  With Jonathan I, the tradition of mascot kidnapping continued, until this was replaced with the yearly exchange of a trophy to commemorate the 1934 event. Jonathan I died tragically in a car accident in 1935 and was buried at the corner of North Eagleville and Storrs Road. His grave is, to this day, surrounded by flowers and available to students for memory.

         

Since Jonathan I, all subsequent Jonathans have been pure white Male Huskies. They are remembered for such actions as chasing Brown University’s Brown Bear into a tree, nipping Yale University’s Handsome Dan VI in the nose and getting a standing ovation in New York City’s Madison Square Garden as he ran across the basketball court. He quickly became the University’s spirit and inspiration.

         

Enter the 1960’s. The unrest of civil disobedience and rebellion touched even Jonathan VII’s life. In the spring of 1969, the Student Senate voted to sell the Husky. The reason stated was common for the times, they saw Jonathan as a symbol of the “establishment”, and did not agree with spending student funds on his food or care. Students petitioned against the action and Alpha Phi Omega stepped up to gain ownership of Jonathan VII.

 

Since then, APO has owned, cared for and brought Jonathan to events without fail.   In 1989, the Board of Trustees declared Jonathan VIII and all of his successors as the official mascot of the University of Connecticut. He does service to the community and University by appearing at sporting events, University Sponsored Programs such as Homecoming and HUSKYWOW. His programs in the past have included appearances at the Connecticut Children’s Hospital, Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Juniper Hill Nursing Home and various local elementary schools. We are currently on Jonathan XII, who was born April 16, 2000 and debuted September 22, 2001 at a home football game.  He is an active pup and will continue to serve his duty until he is retired from stardom.

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