The Avery Point Campus was formerly the summer estate of Morton Plant, a railroad, steamship and hotel magnate. Branford House, the mansion overlooking Long Island Sound, was reportedly worth $3 million when it was completed in 1904. Also located on the estate was a caretaker’s house (the current police station) and a barn and horse stable (the current physical plant buildings). The estate included what is now the Shennecossett Public Golf Course located just north of the campus.
The Plant estate was turned over to the State of Connecticut in the 1930’s. During World War II, it was leased to the Coast Guard as a training center. During that period, the Coast Guard built the present cinder block buildings. In 1967, the estate was converted to the Southeastern Campus of the University of Connecticut, later renamed the University of Connecticut at Avery Point.
Please see this article from the New London Day about the original acquisition of the property by the University of Connecticut in 1967. New London Day Article
You may see the 30 July 2015 talk by Groton Town Historian James L. Streeter about the US Coast Guard Training Facility here.
In the last few years, the Avery Point campus has undergone a major transformation. Included in a recent $50 million renovation project is a new Marine Sciences and technology building, the renovation of the Branford House, the gym, and classrooms in the Academic Building, a new Project Oceanology building, a new research vessel and new landscaping for our campus-by-the-sea. A new green $5 million Student Center opened in August of 2013.
Students have access to classes for all UConn’s traditional majors. In addition, the Bachelor of General Studies, English, Marine Sciences, and Maritime Studies are the four additional majors that can be completed at the Avery Point Campus.
All this plus dedicated faculty and staff and small class size provide students who choose Avery Point with a unique experience and a quality education.