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.
The first international student at UConn arrived in 1907. Which nation did this student call home?
What is the oldest building on campus that was originally constructed as student housing?
A: Whitney Hall
B: Gulley Hall
C: Storrs Hall
D: Sprague Hall
First-years arriving at UConn in the fall experience multiple Convocation and Husky WOW events. In the early years, though, the welcome that new students received could be a bit more unruly. Which of these was not something UConn freshmen had to experience in the first half of the 20th century?
A: Rope pull with the sophomore class
B: “The Trip to Eagleville”
C: “The Cannon Rush”
D: Midnight food fight with the sophomore class
Convocation was an annual event at UConn from 1935 to 1962, when President Homer Babbidge decided to forgo the custom. When it was reestablished in 1988, President John Casteen invited what prominent speaker to ensure robust attendance at the “new” event?
A: Isaac Asimov
B: Elie Wiesel
C: Mr. Rogers
D: Gary Hart
In this 1924 photo, sophomores parade across campus to meet freshmen for one of the annual welcome traditions mentioned in question #3.
- A. Aberlardo Pachano, from the city of Ambato in Ecuador, arrived in Storrs in 1907, where he studied bacteriology. The yearbook from 1909 describes him as an expert fencer “who says he is too young to love and too old to marry.” His arrival was quickly followed by students from Bulgaria and Japan.
- C. Built in 1906 as the first brick building on campus intended as a residence – the first brick building overall was a creamery – Storrs Hall was initially a men’s dormitory, with 66 two-man rooms. In 1952 it was renovated to hold classrooms and offices, and today is home to the School of Nursing.
- D. The rope pull between the freshman and sophomore classes was a standard fall activity for decades; the harrowing “Trip to Eagleville” involved sophomores kidnapping freshmen who had violated one of the unspoken rules of campus life and tying them to a railroad trestle two miles from campus; and the “Cannon Rush” pit sophomores against freshmen again, with the former trying to smuggle a cannon onto campus and fire it, and the latter pledged to capturing the weapon. Compared to all that, a midnight food fight sounds positively wholesome, but is positively fictitious.
- B. An attempt at a convocation-like event in 1987 drew only 50 students, which prompted the University to invite a famous guest speaker for the formal revival of the tradition the following year. Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, who also received an honorary doctorate from UConn at commencement earlier that year, drew a crowd of over 1,000 to the newly launched event.
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