On Wednesday, the University of Connecticut Husky mascot Jonathan XIII passed away peacefully at the age of 14, according to a press release from University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.
Born in 2006, Jonathan served as the official mascot for the University of Connecticut from 2008 to 2014, according to the release. Jonathan was present at numerous UConn sports games and public events, under the care of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity on campus.
The tradition of Jonathan dates back to 1934, and has been the name of every Husky chosen as UConn’s mascot.
“Each UConn canine mascot has been named Jonathan since the beginning in honor of Jonathan Trumbull, the last colonial governor and first state governor of Connecticut,” UConn Today explained.
Jonathan XIV, the current mascot of the University, has taken over the duties of Jonathan XIII for over seven years.
UConn students and alumni have fond memories of Jonathan XIII, distinguished by his all-white coat and friendly personality to students and his younger successor Jonathan XIV.
“I only had the privilege of crossing paths with Jonathan XIII in his senior years. He was a sassy, loving, and rambunctious boy,” said Taylor Harton, a 2021 UConn graduate and member of Alpha Phi Omega in an interview with UConn Today.
Since his retirement, Jonathan XIII would occasionally appear at UConn events, but increasing sensitivity to crowds made him come less frequently. In October 2019, Jonathan XIII suffered a series of seizures, and was able to recover in part from a donation fund created by UConn students and alumni to help pay for medical bills.
In an interview with UConn Today, interim President Dr. Andrew Agwunobi praised Jonathan XII, citing him as “a beloved presence on our campuses and in the community in recent years with his successor, Jonathan XIV.”
“He was the epitome of ‘a good boy,’ and he’ll be greatly missed,” Agwunobi said.’