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Charles & Augustus Storrs

The Beginning

The University of Connecticut began with a gift. Late in 1880, brothers Charles and Augustus Storrs offered the state of Connecticut a former Civil War orphanage, 170 acres of farmland and a few barns to establish an agricultural school for boys.

The gift also included $5,000 to purchase equipment and supplies. On April 21, 1881 the Connecticut General Assembly voted to establish the Storrs Agricultural School. It opened five months later on September 28, 1881, with three faculty members and 12 students.

The School's first six students graduated in 1883 with two-year certificates in agriculture. It would not be until 1914 that four-year degrees were conferred by what was then Connecticut Agricultural College. When Storrs Agricultural School became Storrs Agricultural College in 1893, Benjamin Franklin Koons was named the first president of the institution.

Whitney Hall

Koons, a Civil War veteran and college graduate, opened classes to women in 1891 and oversaw the College's first decade of growth.

Storrs Agricultural College became Connecticut Agricultural College in 1899. The name Connecticut State College followed in 1933.

The institution officially became the University of Connecticut in 1939.

More information about the University's founding and early years is available on this website: