A traditional cheer at UConn sporting events for years has been “U! C! O! N! N! UConn! UConn! UConn!”
Now, these letters will greet you each time you come to Storrs in the form of a dramatic sign that was installed May 4 along Route 195 at the north end of campus.
The sign is five individual letters (eight-feet high and two-feet deep each) that make up the familiar UConn wordmark and are made of structural aluminum. The size and durability of the letters will be perfect for people to sit on, pose and take photos, and soon will feature landscaping enhancements and night-time illuminations.
The project was funded in part by private philanthropic donations from a UConn family – Michael ’80 (ENG), ’83 JD and Shari Cantor ’81 (BUS) of West Hartford, Connecticut. Shari is a member of the UConn Board of Trustees, while Michael previously served on the Board of Directors for the UConn Foundation.
“This gateway landmark provides an iconic, bold sense of arrival at UConn’s Storrs campus,” said Laura Cruickshank, UConn’s master planner and chief architect.
The sign was placed where the majority of visitors enter the Storrs campus, after the 10-minute drive on Route 195 from Interstate 84.
It was designed, constructed, and installed by Sign Pro of Plantsville, Connecticut, which discounted the work for UConn.
“This was one of the fun jobs,” said Sign Pro president and owner Peter Rappaccio, whose son is a freshman at UConn. “We love doing this type of work, and the sign provides a great gateway to the campus.”
The sign was inspired by the ‘LAX’ letters that greet traffic arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, though UConn’s sign is a much smaller scale.
“Much like the Jonathan statue near Gampel Pavilion, we expect this landmark gateway to be a widely recognized point of pride for the UConn community,” said Cruickshank, “and become one of the most photographed spots on the Storrs campus.”
The previous UConn sign in that section of campus was approximately 20 years old and needed to be replaced.