Challenge yourself to Tom’s Trivia!

See if you know as much as King of UConn Trivia and University Deputy Spokesperson Tom Breen ’00 (CLAS).

Scroll to the bottom to reveal the answers.

Tom's Trivia

At the Oct. 11, 1958, rivalry football game at UMass Amherst, the UConn marching band charged into the opposing fans’ bleachers and scuffled with rival students in
a bid to recover something that had been stolen from the UConn campus. What
was it?

A: The state flag that flew above Gardner Dow Field
B: A wooden sign that stood on Rte. 195 welcoming drivers to Storrs
C: The head from the UConn mascot costume
D: The sign that hung above Jonathan IV’s kennel

This spring marked the 20th anniversary of the Chemistry Building constructed on North Eagleville Road, overlooking Swan Lake. What was on that site before the state-of-the-art facility was built?

A: Widmer Cottage
B: The Charles E. Waring Building
C: Cecil Kotto Hall
D: The Orford Refectory

In the late 1950s, Connecticut’s civil defense plan called for UConn’s Storrs campus to be used as what in the event of a nuclear attack?

A: A staging ground for the deployment of Nike missiles
B: The central fallout shelter for northeastern Connecticut
C: The state capital
D: An important agricultural hub to prevent food shortages

The Student Alumni Association board member who takes charge of organizing Oozeball each year is the vice president of tradition. But when the muddy volleyball game began in 1984, its organizer had a very different title. What was it?

A: The Oozemaster General
B: The Wizard of Ooze
C: Secretary for Mud
D: The Sultan of Splat

First Oozeball tournament1985
First Oozeball tournament tshirt 1984

Oozeball 1985, (left); t-shirt from the first annual Oozeball tournament in 1984 (right)


  1. D. Shortly before the rivalry game, UMass students crept onto campus at night and stole the sign from Jonathan’s home, which at the time was on Horsebarn Hill. A few years before that, they had dognapped the mascot himself, leading to a rescue mission by carloads of UConn students. After the scuffle, UMass returned the sign and apologized for the prank. Incidentally, UConn won that game by a score of 28-14.
  2. A. The Widmer Cottage, also known as the Widmer Building, was built as the school’s first infirmary in 1919. It was later used extensively by the School of Nursing. That school’s first dean, Carolyn Ladd Widmer, now lends her name to a state-of-the-art facility built for nursing students in 2012.
  3. C. The plan, adopted in 1958, called for state lawmakers and the governor to relocate to a planned bunker beneath what is now the Hilltop Residence Hall complex, which would serve as the temporary seat of state government. A drill with this in mind was conducted on campus in 1960, but the bunker was never constructed.
  4. B. In a nod to L. Frank Baum’s timeless classic, the student in charge of Oozeball in the early years bore the title Wizard of Ooze, which is still used informally by the students who carry on the tradition.


  1. I was very interested in Question #3.
    I knew it wasn’t A because the Nike sites were in Orange (the town I grew up in) and neighboring West Haven.
    D was probably true, but there was unlikely anything special about it.
    B seemed too obvious, but I really didn’t think it could have been C. Although the Wilbur Cross Highway was in place in 1958, the Route 195 connector between Route 32 and (then) U.S. 44-A had not been built yet. Thus just the logistics alone of moving everything from Hartford to Storrs would have quite an undertaking. Then again, strange schemes by our state government didn’t start in the 21st century ….

    I always look forward to the trivia questions even though (like most) I was only on campus for a few years.
    Keep ’em coming.

    Carl Robbins
    Hamden, CT
    Class of ’72

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