The University of Connecticut began in 1880 when two brothers, Charles and Augustus Storrs, donated $6,000 and 170 acres of farmland to the State of Connecticut. At the time, the infrastructure consisted of a former orphanage and a few old barns.
In 1881, the state legislature voted to accept the brother’s gift, formally establishing the Storrs Agricultural School. The first classes began in September of that year; Three faculty members taught thirteen students, all men. It was twelve years until UConn welcomed its first female student, Mansfield resident Nellie Wilson, in 1893.
The school has had five different names since it was founded. It began as the Storrs Agricultural school in 1881, became Storrs Agricultural College in 1893, Connecticut Agricultural College in 1899, Connecticut State College in 1933, and the University of Connecticut in 1939. These old pictures show the UConn campus as it looked in the 1950’s, shortly after becoming the University of Connecticut.
Campus, University of Connecticut, Storrs
The primary and original UConn campus is in Storrs, a division of the Town of Mansfield, bordered by the towns of Coventry, Willington, Windham, and Ashford. The campus is 40 minutes from Hartford, the capital of Connecticut.
UConn College of Agriculture Building, Storrs, Conn.
This is the Wilfred B. Young Building, located at 1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4066, Storrs CT. Wilfred B. Young was a former dean of the University of Connecticut, College of Agriculture. The building was constructed in 1953.
Storrs Hall (Business Administration), UConn
Storrs Hall was the first brick resident built on campus, opening in 1906. The building served as a dorm until the early 1950’s, when it became the School of Business Administration. It is now the UConn School of Nursing.
Koons Hall (Education), University of CT, Storrs
Koons Hall was built in 1912, and originally served as a dormitory. It was converted to office and classroom space in 1952 after the opening of the North Campus Residence Halls. It was built in the same style as Storrs Hall.
Quadrangle at University of Connecticut, Storrs
This image shows the UConn Quad located near the North Campus at 82 N. Eagleville Road in Storrs. The quadrangle is home to 11 dormitories: Hartford, New Haven, New London, Fairfield, Windham, Litchfield, Middlesex, Tolland, Baldwin, McConaughy, and Hurley.
North Campus currently houses approximately 1,400 Freshman and Sophomore students, making it one of the largest residence halls at UConn. Legendary parties at the dorms have earned it the nickname, ‘The Jungle.’
Field House, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.
The Hugh S. Greeg Field House was the original arena of the University of Connecticut. The Field House is named after Hugh Greeg, a former husky basketball player, coach, and athletic director.
The arena opened on December 1, 1954 with a win over then-archrival URI. The Field House had a capacity of 4,604 people and was home to the University of Connecticut men and women’s basketball teams until January 27, 1990, when Gampel Pavilion opened. It is now an indoor track facility.
Jonathan the Husky, the UConn mascot, was chosen through a survey in the student newspaper in 1934. The mascot is named after Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut during the Revolutionary War.
Fraternity Buildings at University of Connecticut
Welcome to Northwest, or as its sometimes known, ‘The Frats’. The buildings of Northwest originally served as housing for fraternities, and now houses more than 1,000 students in dorms known as Batterson, Goodyear, Hanks, Rogers, Russell and Terry.
Hillel House at UConn. Storrs, CT
The Moses A. Savin Hillel House was built in 1947, and has served as the Jewish Center at the University of Connecticut ever since. The Hillel is located at 54 North Eagleville Road.
Holcomb Hall, UConn Girls Dormitory
Holcomb Hall was the first brick dormitory for women, and remains an all-female dormitory today. It was built in 1921, and opened in 1922. Holcomb Hall is the oldest building on campus that is still in use as a residence hall. It was originally known simply as ‘the Women’s Building.’
Ratcliffe Hicks School, University of Connecticut
The Ratcliffe Hicks School was intended to serve as a two year agricultural school that would teach agricultural arts, forestry, irrigation and other practical agriculture skills. The school is named after Ratcliff Hicks, a Tolland resident who established a trust to establish an agricultural school. The Ratcliffe Hicks School was established in 1941, and the building was dedicated to Ratcliff Hicks in 1950.
Today, students at the Ratcliffe Hicks School study toward Associate of Applied Science degrees and a wide array of two-year certifications in plant and animal science majors.
St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Storrs, Conn.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Chapel is a Catholic Church at the University of Connecticut. The church opened in 1948, as a replacement for the previous Catholic chapel at UConn which burned down in 1946.
Wilbur L. Cross Library, University of Connecticut
The Wilbur L. Cross Library is now simply known as the Wilbur Cross Building. This building served as the University of Connecticut’s main library from 1939 until 1978. The two original reading rooms featured 30-foot high ceilings and oak-walled reading rooms. It was one of the first air-conditioned buildings on campus.
The Wilbur L. Cross Library was replaced as the main library on campus by the Homer D. Babbidge Library in 1978, but remains a landmark on the UConn campus. It currently houses the registrar, bursar, financial aid and other student service offices. Visit UConn.edu to learn more about the Wilbur L. Cross Library’s history.
Today UConn is ranked as the best public national university in New England, and has been labeled a “Public Ivy,” a public university that provides an Ivy League quality education.
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