The University of Connecticut began honoring its highest achieving students with the University Scholars program in 1951, and six years later, it started a tradition of recognizing all academic achievements.
The first Scholars Day was held May 11, 1957 as part of the University’s 75th anniversary year celebrations. Nearly 600 students with high scholastic standing were honored in the afternoon program at the University Auditorium (it would be a few more years before it would become known as Jorgensen Auditorium).
The honorees included ten University Scholars and 579 students who had received general University honors, were members of honors societies, or who had distinguished themselves in a special field of study. The guest speaker that day was Edward D. Eddy, Jr., provost and vice president of the University of New Hampshire, who later was president of the University of Rhode Island. His topic: “On Being Gloriously Content.” He concluded that college students were not challenged enough, and that they should seize opportunities for learning outside of the classroom to complete their education.