Jump to content
School of Medicine Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center



1838 The Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College opens; the first Dean is Dr. Augustus Warner.
1844 The Medical Department moves into its first permanent home, the Egyptian Building.
1854 The Medical Department receives an independent charter from the Virginia General Assembly and becomes the Medical College of Virginia.
1855 Research is already underway at MCV. Dr. Charles E. Brown-Sequard is conducting work in the basement of the Egyptian Building that leads to an internationally acclaimed paper on endocrinology.
1860 In return for a $30,000 appropriation, MCV conveys all its property to the commonwealth of Virginia and becomes a state institution
1861 A new hospital opens, constructed with funds acquired in 1860.
1861-65 During the American Civil War, MCV remains open and graduates a class each year of the war. It is the only Southern school still in existence with this distinction.
1867 MCV’s first outpatient clinic is established.
1889 MCV Alumni Association is organized.
1893 College of Physicians and Surgeons, later University College of Medicine, is established by Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire just three blocks away from MCV.
1894 MCV medical curriculum is lengthened to three years.
1900 MCV lengthens its medical curriculum to four years. It is among the first in the country and the first in the state to do so.
1903 Memorial Hospital opens as a private hospital but is used by the faculty at MCV.
1912 McGuire Hall opens as the new home of the University College of Medicine.
1913 MCV and UCM merge through the efforts of Dr. George Ben Johnston and Dr. Stuart McGuire. MCV acquires the Memorial Hospital as a result of the merger.
1918 Innis Steinmetz, class of 1920, is the first woman to enter the medical school.
1918-19 Members of the MCV faculty serve with Dr. Stuart McGuire during the war at Base Hospital 45 in Toul, France.
1920 Dooley Hospital and St. Philip Hospital open.
1925 Dr. William T. Sanger, former secretary for the State Board of Education, becomes MCV’s third president.
1926 Dr. William Branch Porter is named the first full-time professor of medicine.
1932 Tompkins-McCaw Library opens.
1936 First graduate degrees are conferred. (Biochemistry)
1938 MCV celebrates its centennial.
1938 New laboratory and outpatient clinic opens (A. D. Williams Memorial Clinic). The building is constructed with a Public Works Administration grant of $239,850.
1941 The new MCV Hospital (MCV West Hospital) opens to national acclaim.
1942-45 MCV organizes a medical unit to serve during the war. General Hospital 45 serves in North Africa and Italy.
1947 The first civilian burn unit in the country was established at MCV under the direction of Dr. Everett Evans.
1949 MCV Foundation is incorporated.
1952 First Ph.D. degree is awarded. (Pharmacology)
1955 New doors are opened as MCV graduates its first African-American student, Jean Harris.
1956 Dr. Robert Blackwell Smith becomes the fourth and last president of MCV.
1956 Dr. David Hume, a pioneer transplant surgeon, is appointed chairman and professor of surgery. Dr. Hume had performed the world’s first kidney transplant while still at Harvard and performed Virginia’s first kidney transplant as well.
1956-58 E. G. Williams Hospital opens in two phases.
1963 Medical Education Building (named for William T. Sanger in 1970) opens.
1966 School of Basic Sciences and Graduate Studies is established.
1967 Self-Care Unit opens and later is named for former Dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Kinloch Nelson.
1968 The first heart transplant at MCV is performed by Dr. Richard R. Lower, the ninth nationally and the 16th worldwide.
1968 Virginia Commonwealth University is created through the merger of Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia.
1975 A cancer center is established with a grant from the National Cancer Institute.
1980 Alumnus Baruj Benacerraf wins the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology.
1982 MCV Main Hospital opens, a modern, 14-story, 539-bed facility costing in excess of $60 million dollars.
1983 Massey Cancer Center opens under the direction of Dr. Walter Lawrence Jr., a surgeon and former president of the American Cancer Society.
1986 The renovated North Hospital (former E.G. Williams Hospital) opens.
1993 School of Medicine and School of Basic Health Sciences merge.
1996 Virginia Biotechnology Research Park opens.
1996 Medical Sciences Building opens.
1997 Medical College of Virginia Hospitals Authority is created.
1998 Surgeons perform what is believed to be the country’s first living donor liver transplant between unrelated adults. A year later, the world’s first stranger to stranger unrelated living donor transplant is performed at MCV Hospitals.
2000 Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority is established.
2001 VCU and INOVA Fairfax partner to establish medical program in Northern Virginia.
2002 Gateway Building opens at VCU Medical Center.
2005 VCU Board of Visitors appoints Jerome F. Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., to be dean of the VCU School of Medicine.
2006 Cardiac surgery team at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Pauley Heart Center performs the first artificial heart implant on the East Coast.
2006 Massey Cancer Center’s opens Goodwin Research Laboratory, an 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art cancer research laboratory.
2008 Claude Moore Health Education and Research Center opens in Northern Virginia and houses high-tech simulation lab, uniquely designed research facility and VCU School of Medicine.