Four years ago today, the University of Connecticut’s beloved mascot Jonathan XIV was born. The black and white Husky has been UConn’s mascot ever since he was a puppy, replacing the all-white Jonathan XIII. While Jonathan XIII is enjoying his retirement, Jonathan XIV is hard at work spreading Husky Pride wherever he can.
Our current Jonathan is the fourteenth in a long line of huskies dating back to the 1900s. In 1935, the first Jonathan the Husky was introduced to the University of Connecticut. He was named after Jonathan Trumbull, who was the Governor of Connecticut before and after the American Revolution. For years, Jonathan the Husky was loved by students and became a symbol of the University of Connecticut. This all changed in 1970, when the student government tried to sell Jonathan because they thought he represented “the man.” The service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega decided to step in and assume full responsibility of Jonathan, and have been in charge of his care ever since. Jonathan XIV was born on Oct. 5, 2013 and became UConn’s official mascot in 2014.
As a member of Alpha Phi Omega and a handler for Jonathan XIV, I end up spending a lot of time with this popular pooch. Jonathan XIV is an extremely affectionate dog who loves to give kisses to his fellow UConn Huskies. Jonathan XIV is very well behaved, in fact the only time I have ever heard him bark was at the Syracuse Orange. He is also a bit of a derp, but in the absolute best way. It is safe to say that Jonathan XIV is the Goodest Boy.
Jonathan XIV can often be seen showing his UConn pride at home games, student events and university functions. Jonathan XIV has even posed for alumni engagement photos, attended weddings and even helped with a proposal. Sometimes, Jonathan XIV is walked on campus, giving students a chance to meet the famous pup. Rumor has it that if he licks your face, you will pass your exams.
For a lot of students, seeing Jonathan on campus can brighten up their whole day. Petting a dog when you are stressed about classes is already amazing, but seeing Jonathan XIV is one “UConn Bucket List” activity that every Husky hopes to cross off.
“Seeing him on campus makes me really happy because he’s a really happy husky and so am I,” third semester music major Norah Gleeson said.
Third semester vocal performance major Manny Cruz said that seeing Jonathan filled him with school spirit. “Right when you see him, you just get a sense of Husky pride,” Cruz said.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, the UConn Student Alumni Association will be handing out special Jonathan XIV party hats and free cookies on Fairfield Way. They will also have a birthday banner so students can wish their favorite pup a very happy birthday. Alpha Phi Omega, the organization that cares for Jonathan XIV, will also be selling pins and stickers in the Student Union, with all proceeds going toward his care.
Happy Birthday, Jonathan XIV!
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.