University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut, commonly known as UConn, is the State of Connecticut's flagship land-grant university. It was founded in 1881 and serves over 27,000 students on its six campuses, including more than 7,000 graduate students.
The main university campus is located in Storrs, Connecticut, which is a division of the Town of Mansfield, approximately 28 miles (45 km) east of Hartford, the state's capital. It is situated between North Eagleville Road and South Eagleville Road. The Storrs Road (CT Route 195) cuts through the campus from north to south. The Uconn main campus is located north of Eastern Connecticut State University on CT Route 195.
In addition to the main campus in Storrs, there are five regional campuses: Avery Point (in Groton), the Greater Hartford campus (West Hartford), Stamford, Torrington, and Waterbury. The School of Law is located in Hartford, and the School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine are both located in Farmington. The President of the University is Dr. Philip E. Austin.
UConn was founded in 1881 as the Storrs Agricultural School. It was named after Charles and Augustus Storrs, two brothers who donated the land for the school as well as initial funding. Women began attending classes in 1891 and were officially admitted in 1893, when the name was changed to Storrs Agricultural College and it became Connecticut's land grant college. In 1899, the name changed again to Connecticut Agricultural College; in 1933, to Connecticut State College; and finally in 1939, to the University of Connecticut.
In 1940, the school was first divided into individual colleges and schools, reflecting its new university status. This was also the year that the School of Social Work and School of Nursing were first established. The graduate program was also started at this time, and existing schools of law and pharmacology were absorbed into the university. Ph.D.s have been awarded since 1949.
During the 1960s, the University of Connecticut Health Center was established in Farmington as a home for the new School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. John Dempsey Hospital was opened in Farmington at this time, and has been operated by UConn ever since.
In 1995, a state-funded program called UCONN 2000 was started. This 10-year program set aside $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) to upgrade campus facilities, add faculty, and otherwise improve the university. An additional $1.3 billion was pledged by the State of Connecticut in 2002 as part of a new 10-year improvement plan known as 21st Century UConn. Through these two programs, UConn's facilities, especially on the Storrs campus, have been dramatically improved, with some facilities, specifically those housing the chemistry department and the Student Union, frequently being cited as the most advanced in the nation. Money has also been put into the regional and satellite campuses, such as the new School of Business facility in downtown Hartford.
Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs are offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Continuing Studies, the Graduate School, the Neag School of Education, the School of Allied Health, the School of Nursing, the School of Business, the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering, Office of International Affairs, the School of Family Studies, the School of Social Work, the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Law, and the School of Fine Arts.
UConn is especially known for its programs in health care administration, dentistry, gifted and talented education, and family studies. The School of Business is one of the top-ranked public schools of its kind in the nation, and the School of Fine Arts' puppetry department is the most influential in the United States.
The following formalized majors are available at UConn, though some are only available at the undergraduate or graduate levels:
- College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (25 plus individualized): Agricultural & Resource Economics, Agribusiness Management, Environmental Economics & Policy, Animal Science, Environmental Science, Natural Resources Management & Engineering, Atmospheric Resources, Fisheries Management, Forestry/Forest Management, Remote Sensing/Geographic Information Systems, Water Resources, Wildlife Management, Nutritional Sciences, Community Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Science, Food Service Management, Nutrition Fundamentals, Nutrition & Sport, Nutritional Biochemistry, Pathobiology, Plant Science, Agronomy, Horticulture, and Landscape Architecture
- School of Allied Health (6 plus individualized): Dietetics, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Cytotechnology, Diagnostic Genetic Sciences, Medical Technology, and Physical Therapy
- School of Business (5 majors): Accounting, Finance, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing
- Neag School of Education (17 majors): Curriculum & Instruction, Teacher Preparation, Educational Leadership, Adult Learning, Educational Administration, Higher Education, Educational Psychology, Cognition & Instruction, Counseling Psychology, Gifted & Talented Education, Educational Technology, School Psychology, Special Education, Kinesiology, Athletic Training, Exercise Science, and Social Science of Sport & Leisure
- School of Engineering (12 majors): Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Engineering Physics, Environmental Engineering, Management & Engineering for Manufacturing (MEM), Materials Science & Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering
- School of Family Studies (6 plus individualized): Human Development & Family Studies, Adult Development & Aging, Childhood & Adolescence, Early Childhood Development & Education, Family Relationships: Services & Counseling, and Family & Society: Policy & Planning
- School of Fine Arts (19 majors): Art & Art History, Art, Communication Design, Illustration, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Art History, Dramatic Arts, Acting, Design & Technical Theatre, Puppetry, Theatre Studies, Music, Music (General), Music Education, Music Theory, and Performance
- Office of International Affairs (5 majors): International Studies, African Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, and Italian History & Culture
- College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (73 plus individualized): African-American Studies, Asian-American Studies, Anthropology, Applied Mathematical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Ecology & Evolutionary Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Molecular & Cell Sciences, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Genetics, Microbiology, Physiology & Neurobiology, Structural Biology, Chemistry, Coastal Studies, Communication Sciences, Communication Disorders, Communication Processes, Economics, English, Irish Literature, Environmental Science, Resource Economics, Environmental Health, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Biology, Environmental Geography, Environmental GeoScience, Marine Science, Natural Resources, Soil Science, European Studies, Geography, Geology & Geophysics, History, Journalism, Judaic Studies, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Linguistics, Marine Sciences, Mathematics, Actuarial Science, Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, Mathematics-Statistics, Medieval Studies, Middle East Studies, Modern & Classical Languages, Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Comparative Literary & Cultural Studies, Critical Languages, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, National Defense Training, Aerospace Studies, Military Science, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Public Policy, Psychology, Puerto Rican & Latino Studies, Sociology, Statistics, Urban & Community Studies, and Women's Studies
- Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture (6 majors): Animal Studies, Dairy/Livestock Studies, Equine Studies, Horticulture, Floriculture, and Nursery Management & Landscaping
Students can choose from 64 different minors at UConn, including some areas of study that are not offered as formalized majors. Some areas of study offered formally only as minors at UConn include Aquaculture, Criminal Justice, Film studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Native American Studies, and Slavic & East European Studies.
UConn is known for having a very active student body. Approximately 75% of all students, including many graduate students, live on campus, which is the largest percentage of residential students in the nation. The university sponsors many events throughout the year for its students, including free concerts from top artists and bands, through its Department of Campus Activities.
There are more than 200 student organizations available at UConn for both undergraduates and graduate students, including religious, athletic, political, cultural, military, artistic, and community service clubs. There are also student organizations set up with the intent of governing student life itself, such as the Student Union Board of Governors, the Undergraduate Student Government, and the various residence hall councils. Approximately 25 fraternities and sororities exist at UConn, many of which are academically-oriented.
As with most rural schools, most area activities are held on campus, though the university provides free bus transportation to many area events and also arranges frequent bus trips to Boston, Manhattan, and the Connecticut shoreline. Some students, however, express displeasure with the rural location of the campus, leading it to be ranked #13 on the 2005 Princeton Review list of schools with more to do on campus than off.
UConn's sports teams (nicknamed "Huskies") participate in the NCAA's Division I-A and in the Big East Conference, except for hockey, which is not sponsored by the Big East. The men's hockey program competes in Atlantic Hockey and the women's hockey program is a member of Hockey East. The most notable athletic facilities are:
- Gampel Pavilion on the Storrs campus, the regular home for both men's and women's basketball
- Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, the second home for both basketball teams
- Rentschler Field in East Hartford, home to the football team
Approximately 70% of all UConn student-athletes graduate from the university, and almost 50% maintain a 3.0 GPA. The women's lacrosse team had the second-highest team GPA in the country in 2004, and numerous UConn student-athletes, including former basketball star Emeka Okafor, have been named Academic All-Americans.
UConn is best known for having its men's and women's basketball teams consistently ranked in or near the top 10 in the nation in their respective divisions. The men's team won the NCAA Div. I title in 1999 and 2004, and the women won in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004, including undefeated seasons in 1995 and 2002. Emeka Okafor, Richard Hamilton, Ray Allen, Cliff Robinson, Ben Gordon, Caron Butler, Svetlana Abrosimova, Nykesha Sales, Swin Cash, Kara Wolters, Tamika Williams, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, and Rebecca Lobo are among the list of professional basketball players to achieve success after attending UConn.
In 2004, UConn became the second school ever, and the first in Division I, to win the men's and women's basketball titles in the same season. It was also the first school to ever have both teams ranked number 1 in the nation at the same time (1994), and has also spent the most weeks by far with both teams holding the number one spot, with Duke University being the only other team ever to achieve the feat, for a short period during the 2003-2004 season.
In addition to its basketball success, UConn is known for its solid soccer teams. The men's team has won two national titles, most recently in 2000, and the women advanced to the title game in 2003. UConn also has the best average attendance in the nation for both men's and women's soccer. Major League Soccer players Chris Gbandi, Damani Ralph, Bobby Rhine, and Shavar Thomas each attended UConn.
UConn football moved up to Division I-A status in 2000, was included in official NCAA Division I-A statistics for the first time in 2002, and became a full Big East member in 2004. UConn has been recognized as having the fastest progression out of I-AA in NCAA history, as it was invited into a BCS conference only two years after becoming a full I-A member, was bowl-eligible in its first season in I-A, and was invited to a bowl game in its first season as a conference member. The Huskies defeated the University of Toledo in the Motor City Bowl by a score of 39-10, with quarterback Dan Orlovsky being named Most Valuable Player. In 2003, the team was also honored for being one of only 7 schools in the U.S. to graduate 90% or better of its members; it was the only public school on the list.
UConn students have sometimes been criticized for their rowdy celebrations after national championship wins. After the men's basketball team won their first NCAA championship in 1999, widespread rioting and otherwise criminal behavior in Storrs was reported, with numerous fires being set in celebration. These displays were similar to those that occur almost yearly at other universities that win championships, such as those at Michigan State in 2000 and Maryland in 2002. Fires were again set in 2004, some well before the first championship game to be played that year (the men's) had even reached halftime.
These incidents led many in the state, especially the editorial staff at The Hartford Courant, to call for tighter campus security and harsher punishments for such incidents. Many students and supporters of the university pointed to the fact that most arrests made during these incidents have been of non-UConn students, and that the majority of riotous behavior occurs at off-campus establishments, especially privately owned and operated residences and apartment complexes.
Since 1934, the mascot of UConn has been the husky. (Prior to that year, athletic teams were known as the Aggies.) All UConn huskies are named Jonathan in honor of Jonathan Trumbull, and all but the first, a brown and white husky, have been white with one brown eye and one blue eye. The current "real" Jonathan is Jonathan XII; he is often seen greeting fans and eating dog biscuits at sporting events. Jonathan is one of the few university mascots in the nation to have been selected by students via a popular poll.
Jonathan's name can be found on numerous establishments on campus, including Jonathan's Cafeteria in the Student Union. There is also a statue of Jonathan located outside Gampel Pavilion; it is school tradition to rub the statue's nose for good luck.
The UConn fight song, officially titled UConn Husky but commonly called The Husky Fight Song, is one of the most recognizable in the country, due in large part to its frequent playing during nationally televised sporting events. Written by Herbert France in the late 1940s, the lyrics to UConn Husky are as follows:
- UConn Husky, symbol of might to the foe
- Fight, fight Connecticut / It's vict'ry, let's go (let's go!)
- Connecticut UConn Husky,
- Vict'ry again for the White and Blue
- So go (fight!) - go (fight!) - go (fight!) - go
- Connecticut, Connecticut U...spell it!
- C - O - N - N - E - C - T - I - C - U - T, Connecticut
- Connecticut Husky, Connecticut Husky
- C - O - N - N - U (repeat)
The colors of UConn are white and national flag blue, though small amounts of red often appear on athletic uniforms. The Pantone standard for the exact shade of blue used is #281.
The visual symbol of the university is the oak tree. This is because the Latin word for oak, robur, also refers to moral and physical strength. The oak leaf appears on the university symbol and next to the word UConn on official letterhead.
Aside from the previously listed famous athletes to attend UConn, notable alumni include:
- Tansu Çiller, first female Prime Minister of Turkey
- Franklin Chang-Diaz, astronaut and physicist
- Edward Kennedy, Jr., lawyer and son of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy
- Kevin B. MacDonald, evolutionary psychology theorist
- Ron Palillo, actor
- Ann Lane Petry, author
- Elaine Scarry, author and Harvard University professor
- Bob Schaefer, bench coach and former manager for the Kansas City Royals
- Timothy Perry Shriver, teacher and philanthropist
- Shaun McNally, 2004 candidate for United States Congress
- Ronald Mallett, researcher in time travel
- Samuel Pickering, teacher portrayed by Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society
- University of Connecticut - official website
- University of Connecticut Health Center - official website
- University of Connecticut School of Law - official website
- UConnHuskies.com - official athletics website
- UConn Alumni Association
- UCONN 2000 & 21st Century UConn