Illustrations by Ani Somi Photos byPeter Morenus, Sydney Herdle, and Jonathan’s Crew Journaling byJonathan’s Crew
Operation 15. For 10 days in June it was the best-kept secret on campus: the new dog in town. Under a soft terry towel of secrecy, brother Jonathan XIV began the mascot training of XV, a 10-pound, blue-eyed bundle who loves to yap and cuddle. XIV, who came from Arkansas, was 16 pounds at this age, according to Jonathan’s Crew, canine advisors and the members of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity who’ve had charge of mascot care and safekeeping since 1970. Lucky for us, they recorded “the little guy’s” serious and silly milestones along the way — including the official unveiling to UConn Nation.
XV hails from Atwood, Ontario, Canada, where he spent his first eight weeks among his four sisters and one brother. During his top secret first 10 days at UConn, he learned to sit and stay — and pose for a close-up. A surprise meeting with some Huskies taught him just how tall a human can be — the basketball players held tightly to the secret, sharing photos only after the reveal. A purebred Siberian Husky, mascot-in-training XV joins a long line of canine Jonathans dating back to 1935. Why Jonathan? Students named him through a contest — legend has it that during the American Revolution George Washington referred to Connecticut’s then-governor Jonathan Trumbull as “Brother Jonathan.”
Join us as we chronicle Jonathan XV’s first year at UConn, from arriving home in Storrs to participating in UConn’s most storied traditions. Each episode will follow our mascot-in-training – and feature his brother Jonathan XIV – as he experiences life as the newest member of UConn Nation.