Feel Good Friday: 2020-2021 Edition

In 2014 Jonathan XIV became the new mascot for UConn. Here he celebrates his birthday on a walk with his brother, Johnathan XIII, on Oct. 5, 2017. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

Let’s be real: This school year was a lot. Pandemic fatigue, political controversies, virtual classes — at times, the world felt like too much to handle. Thankfully, The Daily Campus made time to write some warm-and-fuzzy-feeling stories that allowed us to take a breath and make this crazy year feel a little more normal. On this final Friday, let’s look back on a few of our favorite stories that made us feel good. 

Feel Good Friday: Resident good boy turns seven

By Rachel Philipson – Oct. 9, 2020

University of Connecticut’s favorite furry mascot Jonathan XIV celebrated his seventh birthday in style. 

After a breakfast of fresh-cooked salmon and a morning stroll, Jonathan greeted fans at Gampel Pavilion, Fairfield Way and the Student Union lawn for some COVID-safe good-boy pets. He finished the night by sharing a birthday cake made by UConn Dining Services with his big brother Jonathan XIII.

“Thank you for all the birthday wishes yesterday,” Jonathan XIV said on his Instagram page @jonathanhusky14. “I [heart] my UConn family! Today I’ll be sleeping off a cake-hangover. But I’d do it all again tomorrow if I could!”  

Feel Good Friday: Residence Hall Association to host Hand-Drawing Turkey Contest

UConn students cut and colored hand turkeys to decorate for the Thanksgiving season. The Residence Hall Association held the contest for an Insomnia Cookies gift card. (Photo by Julie Spillane/The Daily Campus)

By Isabella Warren – Nov. 6, 2020

Who said hand turkeys are a kid’s craft? UConn students got their creative juices flowing for a Thanksgiving-themed art contest hosted by the Residence Hall Association. 

A digitally drawn, gingham-checked and feather-filled hand turkey took the first place prize and $10 Insomnia Cookies gift card.

“Coloring is a very good way to promote relaxation and help calm anxiety, and we wanted to offer our residents a socially distanced and safe way to do so,” said Residence Hall Association President Kailee Heinrich, an eighth-semester political science and American studies major. “We wanted to provide students with a very low-stress event that everyone can participate in and have fun with.” 

Feel Good Friday: UConn Giving Tree supports underprivileged youth this holiday season

By Amanda Kilyk – Nov. 13, 2020

In the season of giving, the UConn Bookstore teamed up with the Catholic Charities of Norwich to provide gifts to 60 local, low-income children, according to their website.  

Ornaments were hung on a giving tree, each representing a child in need from 2 months to 17 years old. Donors participated in person and online, picking ornaments to provide each child a gift.  

“Every kid deserves to get gifts during the holiday season, and this year especially, there is so much need,” Jen Amedy, assistant manager of the UConn Bookstore, said. “So many people are out of work and struggling. It’s nice to be able to help them make sure their kids aren’t being left out.”  

Feel Good Friday: UConn Stamford to participate in coastal cleanup

On December 12th, The University of Connecticut Stamford campus participated in a community coastal cleanup at Boccuzzi Park Beach from 1 to 3 p.m., led by SoundWaters, a coastal education organization. Photo courtesy of the City of Stamford website.

By Isabella Warren – Dec. 4, 2020

UConn’s Stamford campus joined SoundWaters, a local coastal education organization, to clean up Boccuzzi Park beach.

Volunteers cleared litter from the beach. The goal of the community cleanup was to improve the well-being of the Stamford coastal ecosystem and its wildlife on Long-Island Sound. SoundWaters prides itself on educating others about the importance of protecting beaches. 

“Our coastline is one of our most precious resources and all of us must chip in to keep it pristine,” the organization said on its website. “SoundWaters is leading the charge, but needs everyone’s help.” 

Feel ‘Gouda’ Friday: UConn Creamery expands cheese production

By Rachel Philipson – April 9, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic caused UConn Dairy Bar ice cream sales to decline, the UConn Creamery took the opportunity to revive its cheese production. 

The creamery added four artisanal and farmstead cheeses to its shelves: Juustoleipa, Old Farm Lane Fresh Cheese, 1881 Reserve and Storrs Original Farmstead Jack. 

“When the Dairy Bar shut down for COVID-19, we basically weren’t selling any ice cream,” Dennis D’Amico, associate professor of dairy food, said. “We filled all of the freezers with as much ice cream as possible. Then, it was the perfect time to relaunch cheese production. We wanted to bring back the ones that people loved that have come and gone and bring some new flavors.” 

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