What It Means To Be UConn Thankful

A glimpse into one of the most treasured annual rituals at Storrs: the pre-Thanksgiving run up the steep hill to the grave of the Storrs Brothers, where Baseball Head Coach Jim Penders delivers a message about gratitude and commitment. ()

Every year just before Thanksgiving, UConn Baseball Head Coach Jim Penders leads a run up the steep hill at New Storrs Cemetery on the northern side of campus. The destination is the Storrs family grave, which sits on top of the hill – always with a  clear view of Storrs Congregational Church, as stipulated by the Storrs brothers’ will.  There, gathered around the resting place of the two brothers whose gifts of land, money, and books helped establish what is today one of the country’s best public research universities, Coach Penders tells the assembled students to look out on the campus below, and reflect on the sacrifices and hard work of generations of Huskies before them.

In May, Carson Cross ’15 (CLAS), who played baseball at UConn and is now a pitching coach in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, told the Daily Campus that the annual ritual of the pre-Thanksgiving run was one of the highlights of his time in Storrs.

“I ventured back to the top of the hill many times after that first day,” he said. “I would find myself there on hard days and remind myself how lucky I was to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

Watch as Penders, the winningest coach in UConn baseball history, gives a new group of students that inspirational insight into what it means to be a UConn Husky.