December 21, 2018

School of Medicine Mini-History

In celebration of the 175th anniversary of the School of Medicine we have compiled this mini-history. A published history of the School was written for the Centennial in 1943. This mini-history just highlights a few aspects of the School’s 175 year history. The University Archives holds over 860 linear feet of records of the School. Two histories and many articles have been published about the School.

School of Medicine Harland Goff Wood Building

The School of Medicine was established in 1843 as the Cleveland Medical College. As early as 1834-1835, WRC trustees had considered establishing a medical school.

1843 - Cleveland Medical College
1844 - Cleveland Medical College renamed Medical Department of Western Reserve College (WRC)
1881 - Medical Department of WRC renamed Medical Department of Western Reserve University (WRU)
1913 - Medical Department of WRU renamed the School of Medicine of WRU

Portrait of Jared Potter Kirtland

1843-3/1844 and 2/1861-5/1873 - John Lang Cassels
3/1844-2/1846 and 10/1846-2/1861 - John Delamater
2/1846-10/1846 - Jared Potter Kirtland
5/1873-7/1881 - John Bennitt
7/1881-3/1883 - William Johnston Scott
3/1883-9/1893 - Gustav Carl Erich Weber
9/1893-5/1895 - Isaac Newton Himes
5/1895-6/1900 - Hunter Holmes Powell
6/1900-1912 - Benjamin Love Milliken
1912-11/1928 - Carl August Hamann
11/1928-7/1944 - Torald Hermann Sollman
4/1945-8/1959 - Joseph Treloar Wearn
9/1959-8/1966 - Douglas Danford Bond
9/1966-6/1980 - Frederick Chapman Robbins
7/1980-7/1989 - Richard E. Behrman
8/1989-7/1990 - Howard S. Sudak, Acting Dean
7/1990-8/1995 - Neil S. Cherniack
9/1995-6/2002 - Nathan Berger (Interim Dean 9/1995-8/1996)
7/2002-3/2003 - Jerold Goldberg, Acting Dean
4/2003-9/2006 - Ralph I. Horwitz
9/2006-6/2020 - Pamela Bowes Davis (Interim Dean 9/2006-9/2007)

While WRC was located in Hudson, Ohio, the Medicial Department was located in downtown Cleveland. The School moved to University Circle in 1924. It was part of the new medical campus which included the new Medical School building (now called the Wood Building), Animal House, Institute of Pathology and University Hospitals' buildings: Lakeside Hospital, Hanna Pavilion, Nurses’ Dormitories (Robb, Mather, Lowman, Harvey). A new Power House was built to service the Medical School buildings and University Hospitals. The dedication of the new Medical School building was in conjunction with the inauguration of Robert E. Vinson as President of Western Reserve University.

1843-1846 rented quarters in the Mechanics Block, southeast corner of Ontario and Prospects streets
1846-1885 Medical School, southeast corner of East 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue
1887-1924 Medical School, southeast corner of East 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue (same site as previous)
1898-1924 Physiological Laboratory, next to main Medical School building at East 9th and St. Clair Avenue
1908-1924 H. K. Cushing Laboratory, East 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue
1924-current use: Harland Goff Wood Building
1924-1943?: Animal House, behind Wood Building
1929-current use: Institute of Pathology
1930-?: Animal House, between Wood Building and first Animal House
1962-current use: Joseph Treloar Wearn Laboratory for Medical Research
1971-current use: Frederick C. Robbins Building (East Wing)
1971-current use: Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears Administration Tower
1993-current use: Richard F. Celeste Biomedical Research Building
2003-current use: Harland Goff Wood Building Research Tower (addition to Wood Building)
Coming in 2019: Health Education Campus

The School has had affiliations with numerous hospitals over the years including: MetroHealth Hospitals System (City Hospital, County Hospital, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, Sunny Acres, Highland View Hospital), Mt. Sinai Medical Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, University Hospitals of Cleveland (including Lakeside Hospital, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, MacDonald Hospital, Hanna House, Hanna Pavilion), Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Early Education (taken from Significant Dates in the History of the School of Medicine, Western Reserve University by Frederick C. Waite)
The first classes began 11/1/1843. This first session was 16 weeks. In 1846 two sessions of 16 weeks each was required.

In 1888 graded courses of three years was mandatory. “Required individual laboratory work in Physiology established, the first in the west, and probably the first in the United States.”

In 1895 the optional four year courses established. The first four year class graduated in 1899 (5 men).

In 1901 entrance requirement of three years work in a college of arts and sciences became effective.

Students celebrate at Match Day, 1987

Much has been written about the 1952 Medical School curriculum revision which was widely adopted by other medical schools. For more information you can read the Greer Williams book, Western Reserve’s Experiment in Medical Education and Its Outcome. This curriculum has been revised over time and in 2006 the School introduced the Western Reserve 2 (WR2) Curriculum.

The School of Medicine entered into an agreement with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 2002 to form the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU. This 5-year program trains physician investigators. The first class graduated in 2009.

Absorbed Schools
In 1910 the School absorbed the Medical Department of Ohio Wesleyan University (also known as the Cleveland College of Physicians and Surgeons). The Medical Department of Ohio Wesleyan (1896-1910) was the successor school of several rival Cleveland-based medical schools, including the Charity Hospital Medical College (1865-1869) and the Medical Department of the University of Wooster (1869-1896).

Alumni of the School of Medicine have taken their knowledge around the world and served in a number of capacities beyond their role as physicians. Such roles include missionaries, educators, researchers, military, and government service (such as Surgeon General and head of Centers for Disease Control).

Professor J. J. MacLeod with students, ca. 1910

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November 09, 2018

Armistice Day: Commemorating the Centennial of the End of World War I

This weekend the world commemorates the centennial of the end of World War I. The “Great War” ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (11/11/1918). We would like to take this opportunity to remember the service of university personnel during the war.

Both Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case School of Applied Science (CSAS) established Student Army Training corps units on campus. In addition to the SATC unit, over 1,000 men and women from WRU - faculty, staff, trustees, alumni - served the war effort in some capacity: from trustee Newton D. Baker who was U.S. Secretary of War, to Winifred Campbell, College for Women graduate, who served as a nurse at Base Hospital No. 31 in France, to Harland L. Sherman, Adelbert College class of 1916, who was a communication officer in France, to Dr. George W. Crile, Medical School faculty member, who headed Base Hospital No. 4 - the Lakeside Unit in France. The university published a War Service Roster summarizing the service of men and women of WRU.

CSAS also published a War Service Record. This publication summarized the war-related activities of the academic departments, such as the school for Marine Engineers conducted by the Mechanical Engineering Department for the U. S. Shipping Board. This program trained 319 operating engineers for service in the Merchant Marine. The publication also recorded the civilian and military service of over 600 faculty members, alumni, students, and faculty. For instance, Professor Dayton C. Miller served the Scientific Commission of National Research Council and the Army Ordnance Department while Jerold Henry Zak, class of 1913, served in the U. S. Army Ambulance Service.


After the war, WRU held a service 6/8/1919 in honor of those university members who died in service during the war. On 11/11/1921 a program was held in Amasa Stone Chapel to dedicate a memorial tablet honoring the deceased. This tablet still hangs in the chapel. Those honored include: Robert Dickson Lane, William Benjamin Crow, Paul Frederick William Schwan, Orville Russell Watterson, Ellory Justin Stetson, Pontius Gothard Cook, Harold Sharp Layton, Charles Scott Woods, William Walter Burk, Henry Burt Herrick, Allen James Excell, Charles Shiveley Brokaw, Joseph Charles Monnier, Renselear Russell Hall, George Albert Roe, Walter Hay Akers, Fred Carl Rosenau.

CSAS installed a tablet in honor of those faculty, alumni, and students who served with the armed forces during the war, 1914-1918. Over 600 names were listed. Those who died were indicated with a star. This tablet was dedicated at commencement on 5/26/1921. Newton D. Baker gave the commencement address, War and the College Man. The tablet was originally displayed for commencement and then installed on the first floor of the Case Main Building.

Records concerning Western Reserve University and Case School of Applied Science during World War I are available for use in the Archives.

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October 15, 2018

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight - Alfonso Miguel Alvarado

In 1965 Alfonso M. Alvarado became Assistant to the Provost for International Programs at Case Institute of Technology. He was head of a program of assistance to Mexican colleges and universities.

Alfonso M. Alvarado

Born in Cartago, Costa Rica in 1900, Alvarado came to the United States as a boy, living in New Orleans. He received his B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University in 1921. He attended graduate school at the University of Iowa, receiving the M.S. in Industrial Chemistry with minors in bacteriology and water analysis in 1922, and the Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry with a first minor in Organic Chemistry in 1924. Dr. Alvarado married Bertha V. Couture in 1924, and they had 3 children: Donald M., Shirley L., and Nancy E. He became a naturalized citizen in 1935.

After completing his education, Alvarado served as Professor and Head of the Department of Science at Waukon Junior College in Waukon, Iowa, 1924-1925. He was Associate Professor of Chemistry at Loyola University in New Orleans for 2 years, 1925-1927, before beginning a 37-year career as a Senior Research Chemist in the Central Research Department at E. I. duPont deNemours Co. After his retirement from DuPont, Dr. Alvarado joined CIT.

The Ford Foundation had approved a grant of $70,000 to CIT for a “1 1/2 year participation in the Foundation’s program for Technology Manpower Training in Mexico....The Case program involves working with educators in Mexico to help the development of higher education in engineering and science. Case already has a program in Monterrey, Mexico under which seven Case juniors study for a year at the Institute of Technology.”

After Dr. Alvarado’s retirement from CWRU in 1968, he was retained as a consultant in patent matters by the Office of Research Administration. During his career at DuPont he received 15 patents.

He was a member of Gamma Alpha Honorary Scientific Fraternity and the American Chemical Society. At CIT he was a member of the Provost Council and the Steering Committee Representative for the Indo-American Program at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, India.

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September 27, 2018

Namesakes - Charles B. Storrs and Storrs House

Charles Backus Storrs
The northside dormitory, Storrs House, was named for the first president of Western Reserve College, Charles Backus Storrs. Storrs was born 5/23/1794 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He was the son, grandson, and nephew of ministers. He attended the village school and then Monson Academy where he graduated in 1810. He entered the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton University) in 1810 at the age of 16. He had to withdraw his junior year on account of ill health. He returned home and taught at the village school. He began the study of theology as a private student of a clergyman on Long Island. When he was 20 he was licensed to preach. In 1817 he entered Andover Theological Seminary and graduated in 1820. He served as a missionary in South Carolina and Georgia for a year and a half before suffering ill health again. While returning to Massachusetts he stopped in Ohio to visit a friend.

When he arrived in Ravenna, Ohio in 1822, a new church was being established. Storrs became the new pastor and served 6 years. On 7/6/1823 he married Vashti Maria Pearson of Avon, New York. They had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. His first son (second child) died as an infant and his last child died a month before President Storrs himself.

The Western Reserve College President's House in Hudson, built 1829-1830

Storrs was offered the professorship of Theology at Western Reserve College in 1828. Before that time the faculty consisted of tutors. As the only professor he also performed administrative duties for the College. He was offered the presidency in 1829 but declined. In 1830 he accepted the presidency and was inaugurated as the university’s first president 2/9/1831.

He had been anti-slavery and was a Colonizationist. He became an ardent abolitionist some time in 1831. He was also an advocate for temperance. On 5/8/1833 Storrs gave a 3-hour long sermon on the subject of abolition; after which he became extremely ill. His health had been failing for some months. He was given a leave of absence by the trustees and went to his brother’s home in Braintree, Massachusetts. He never recovered and died from tuberculosis on 9/15/1833. John G. Whittier published 2 poems referring to slavery in 1833. According to university historian Frederick C. Waite, “In November, 1833, Whittier wrote a poem which ‘sounded through the abolition ranks like the notes of a trumpet.’ It was in memory of Charles Backus Storrs, who at that date was the only college president that had publicly advocated abolition. This was the first poem that Whittier published in Garrison’s journal, the Liberator. Its opening stanza, which indicates the place President Storrs held in the early abolition movement, is as follows:
Thou hast fallen in thine armor,
Thou martyr of the Lord!
With thy last breath crying, - ‘Onward!’
And thy hand upon the sword.”

Storrs House
Storrs House was built as part of the Adelbert I dormitory complex, which consisted of 4 dormitories and 1 commons building. The dorms were named for the first 4 presidents of Western Reserve College: Charles B. Storrs, George E. Pierce, Henry L. Hitchcock, and Carroll Cutler. The commons was named for the 8th president, Winfred G. Leutner.

Financing for the $3.3 million Adelbert I complex was through a loan from the Housing and Home Finance Administration ($2.6 million) and university funds. The Adelbert Alumni Association conducted a three-year $200,000 fundraising campaign to furnish the new men’s dormitories. There is a donor plaque in each of the 4 dorms to commemorate the donors. Some rooms may still have the original small plaque outside the individual doors.

Ground was broken in 1963 and Storrs House was completed by 10/15/1964. Instead of being ready for the Fall 1964 semester as planned, there was a delay in the completion of Storrs House and the rest of the Adelbert I complex and the Mather II complex because of a strike by the building trades workers. Students were housed in the old dorms and some were accommodated in local hotels. The dedication ceremonies included the Adelbert I, Mather I (Cutter House, Smith House, Taft House, Taplin House, and Stone Dining Hall) and Mather II (Norton House, Raymond House, Sherman House Tyler House, and Wade Commons) dormitory complexes on Sunday, 3/7/1965 at Leutner Commons. Storrs House has been in continuous use as a dormitory since its opening 54 years ago.

Gravestone for President Storrs

President Storrs is the only university president for which there is no portrait or likeness in any format. According to correspondence with his descendants, there never had been a portrait or other image of him. The Archives has a photograph of one of his brothers and of his gravestone. On Friday, 9/15/1933 a wreath was laid on Storr’s grave on behalf of Western Reserve University to mark the 100th anniversary of his death. University historian Frederick C. Waite had visited the site to make the arrangements.

For more information on abolition at the university see our 2009 Archives Month webpage, Taking a Stand: Abolition in Ohio (scroll down the page), and the Institute for the Study of the University in Society story, The College and Abolitionism.

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