Lifetime of Giving Supports Passion for Soccer

A series of gifts from a UConn alum and his wife has accumulated to a total of $100,000.

<p>Jon and Betty Hutchinson. Photo by Hal Reed</p>
Jonathan and Elizabeth Hutchinson. Photo by Hal Reed

Jonathan ‘Hutch,’ ’43 ’65, and Elizabeth Hutchinson have made a difference with every gift they’ve donated over the past 60 years. Through a lifetime of philanthropy, the Hutchinsons have cumulatively given $100,000 in support of UConn soccer.

“Certainly we were pleased to hear that our donations had grown to $100,000,” says Hutch. “People who give smaller gifts over time should be encouraged. Our series of endowments have benefited UConn and our retirement income. The bottom line will be a modest legacy to a great University.”

The Hutchinsons were instrumental in establishing the Friends of Soccer booster club, which has helped grow the soccer program into one of the best in the country, says men’s coach Ray Reid (1997-present). In addition to gifts of cash, the Hutchinsons have established charitable gift annuities that give them income for life, and the principal balance ultimately will be used as a bequest to endow a scholarship for the women’s soccer team.

<p>In this 1941 team photo, Jon Hutchinson is wearing the no. 2 jersey (front row, third from left). Photo supplied by the Hutchinsons</p>
In this 1941 team photo, Jon Hutchinson is wearing the no. 2 jersey (front row, third from left). Photo supplied by the Hutchinsons

Hutch grew up in Bristol and enrolled at UConn in 1939. Soccer coach John Squires (1937-41 and 1946-68) recruited him to fill out the team roster, even though Hutch had no experience, and unwittingly inspired a new devotion.

While starring at right wing, Hutch completed a B.S. in history. He later returned to earn a sixth-year diploma in educational technology. Mrs. Hutchinson, a native of Manchester, attended Syracuse University followed by nursing school at Yale University. The couple married in 1948 and had seven children. The Hutchinsons spent their careers in the Torrington school system, he as a social studies teacher and cross country coach and she as a school nurse.

For many years, Hutch also brought news of the Huskies to western Connecticut. As a cross country coach, he promoted his students’ success by submitting articles to the Torrington Register-Citizen and Waterbury Republican-American. When he retired in 1983, the papers asked him to continue reporting on another sport he knew exceptionally well: UConn men’s and women’s soccer.

Hutch praises the three coaches who made the men’s team what it is today.

“Coach Jack Squires laid the foundation,” he says. “He truly changed my life in those four years, and in our friendship that lasted over 60 years. Coach Joe Morrone [1969-96] was a teacher, and still is, and an organizer of Friends of Soccer. We can’t thank him enough for many memorable times. Coach Ray Reid brought the team’s third national title in 2000, and his success has increased respect for Husky soccer. He has promised us another championship. I hear it in the wind.”

“Jon and Betty are two of the most giving people I’ve had the pleasure of associating with in my 40-plus years at UConn,” says Morrone. “Both have willingly given their time, energy, expertise, and financial support to various programs over the years, especially to men’s soccer. They love our University, and are terrific models for others to follow.”

Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson, ages 88 and 90 respectively, still occasionally drive from their home in Concord, N.H., to attend UConn soccer games.

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“Betty and Jon have spent their entire lifetime supporting UConn men’s soccer,” says Reid, the current men’s soccer coach. “Whether it be financially, spiritually, or physically, the Hutchinsons have always been there to help. The men’s program has been like another one of their children. They are among the few people I know who have seen all three national championship teams – in 1948, 1981, and 2000 – compete. Even today, they still make the commute down from New Hampshire to watch the boys play.”